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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Soldier Field sued for allowing anti-LGBTQ+ slurs
2021-07-11

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Four men—Jordan Penland, Karl Gerner, Edward R. Burke and Paul C. Burke—are suing Chicago's Soldier Field, saying they were subjected to anti-LGBTQ+ slurs during a 2019 soccer game there and stadium personnel did nothing to stop it, The Advocate reported.

The men, members of the queer community, were attending the CONCACAF Gold Cup's championship match between the United States and Mexico, according to Outsports.

In the suit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, they say chanting of "puto"—an anti-gay slur that translates loosely to "male prostitute"—occurred at least 25 times during the match, and "tens of thousands" of fans chanted. The plaintiffs, who were wearing rainbow jerseys, reportedly asked stadium workers to take some action to stop the chants, but nothing happened.

The lawsuit says the Illinois Department of Human Rights later investigated the episode, and concluded that Soldier Field violated the state's Human Rights Act by failing to reprimand or eject those who were chanting the slur, Outsports stated.

Mexico has to play two official home matches in an empty stadium as part of a punishment following homophobic chants by the team's fans at two Olympic soccer tournament qualifiers in March, USA Today noted. Those matches—one against Jamaica in September, the other against Canada in October—are both 2022 World Cup qualifiers. Also, European soccer's governing body ordered the Hungarian Football Federation to play its next three home matches "behind closed doors" and to pay a 100,000-euro fine over recent homophobic and racist behavior by its fans, The New York Daily News noted.


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