San Diego stadium board wants to stamp out slurs at soccer matches

Tom Krasovic, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Soccer

The stadium board suggested City Hall should "establish negotiations with future team owners and promoters" and engage "appropriate entities in San Diego communities such as the LGBT center."

Where San Diego might try, many others have failed.

Stadium general manager Mike McSweeney said organizers of the Gold Cup took "aggressive" measures such as playing looped messages, recorded in Spanish, asking fans to refrain from chanting gay slurs. In England, teams unable to eliminate slurs chanted by fans can face financial penalties through reducing the seating capacity of the stadium.

While it is easy for San Diego leaders to deem the chant offensive, the view is different in large swaths of the Mexican culture. U.S. journalists have found that Mexican are as offended at people on the U.S. side of the border trying to eradicate the chant as people here are offended by it.

In days leading up to the July 9 match in San Diego, CONCACAF launched a campaign aimed at curbing the penchant of Mexican fans to yell the infamous p-word on opposing goal kicks because, it reminded people, "OUR children are listening."

Didn't work, wrote Union-Tribune soccer writer Mark Zeigler. He added:

Really didn't work. The allegedly homophobic chant was as choreographed and deafening as ever, echoing across Mission Valley in a clear act of defiance.

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"We never said we were going to do away with it tonight," one CONCACAF official said, with a hint of frustration. "We're working on it little by little."

San Diego agents for the MLS have said that if a team is planted in Mission Valley, exhibitions against Tijuana's club are envisioned for the San Diego site. Mexican journalists told the Union-Tribune in February that transplanted Mexicans living in San Diego County would flock to Mission Valley, if only to see the Tijuana team.

(c)2017 The San Diego Union-Tribune

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