Atlanta’s new MLS team made its debut on Sunday, losing to the New York Red Bulls 2-1 in front of 55,000 new fans. Some fans cheered the team on and enjoyed themselves, some fans continued to engage in embarrassing “football” cosplay, and some fans got homophobic.
Throughout the game, fans in the stadium broke out the “Puto!” chant, an infamous and ubiquitous Mexican soccer chant that involves fans shouting a gay slur in unison as the opposing goalkeeper takes goal kicks. It usually goes like this:
The chant did not go unnoticed by the team, and yesterday the organization released a statement condemning the fans who participated. From the Orlando Sentinel:
“Atlanta United does not support or condone the use of offensive language,” the statement said. “We strive to foster a positive, enthusiastic and inclusive environment for all fans, and inappropriate chants have no place at our matches. Fans found to be participating in this behavior will be subject to removal from the building.”
It’s unclear exactly how many fans were doing the chant, but it was enough for media members who were at the game to take notice. Also unclear is whether the chant was being done by fans who understood its homophobic nature, or by misguided, wannabe MLS ultras who don’t know what “puto” means. Whatever the case, stop doing this chant, Atlanta United fans!