For the first time in quite some time, the “puto” chant being in the news isn’t directly related to a Mexican national team match. The chant–widely considered homophobic and disdained by FIFA and CONCACAF–was heard in the stands at Levi’s Stadium during last night’s Gold Cup final, which saw the US beat Jamaica 2-1 on a late Jordan Morris goal.
The chant has been almost exclusively an issue during games featuring El Tri, with some South American fans also catching on to it. It appears that spread has now moved north towards the United States. Despite no primarily Spanish-speaking countries being involved in the final, the chant was still present, which raises questions about possible reprimands. Will FIFA speak out against USA or Jamaica fans with the same passion that they did Mexican fans? Will they ignore it as a one-time incident? And will the US ever stop appropriating everyone else’s culture?
Many Mexican fans were outraged at the idea that they have been persecuted for what they see to be harmless fun, while others can just adopt the offensive term without consequence. At point or another this summer, FIFA, the FMF, and CONCACAF have all spoken out against Mexican fans’ use of the chant, with fines and possible game cancellations being threatened. In fact, Mexico was fined for its fans’ actions during this very Gold Cup:
Of course, it’s possible that the chant during the final originated from Mexican fans anyway; traditionally yelled when an opposing net-minder is taking a goal kick, the chant was heard during both Jamaican and American goal kicks on Wednesday. This lends to the idea floating around on social media that Mexican fans were at the game (possibly having purchased tickets before Mexico got eliminated), and that they were the ones to express their frustrations by unleashing the chant. Once something like that begins, it can take a life of its own as other fans join in.
Case in point: one person at the game tweeted that the “USA fan in front of us asked what puto meant then began to chant it with everyone for the rest of the game.” So, regardless of who started it–American, Mexican, or even Jamaican–there were fans from other countries chiming in as well, and if FIFA were to be consistent, they would punish those fans as well.
The unofficial USMNT fan club, American Outlaws, tweeted out that it was not them chanting along with the “puto” chant, placing the blame on “other fans.”
One thing that remains clear is that every instance of the chant will stoke the fires on social media, and the final was no different. Reactions flooded in on Twitter, with reactions split between American fans angry at the chant and Mexican fans demanding some equal justice on the part of FIFA and CONCACAF.