As the NFL looks to continue its partnership with Mexico, its Mexican counterparts are speaking out and standing in solidarity with the Mexican soccer federation against the infamous “puto” chant and other potentially offensive chants present at sporting events.
The director of NFL Mexico, Arturo Olivé, went on the record as being against the chant, wanting instead to show the Mexican fans in a positive light: “We join the campaigns and what has been promoted by the Mexican Football Federation because we want to give the best image of the country,” Olivé told reporters at a press conference in Mexico City on Thursday. “We will try to appeal to the good habits and the education that we have in order not to tarnish this.”
Olivé also spoke on taking the necessary security steps to ensure that there won’t be a repeat of last year’s “paper plane fiasco.” During the Houston Texans-Oakland Raiders game at the Estadio Azteca last year, fans launched paper planes–made from flyers provided by the stadium–onto the field of play. “We will not have activation with cartons or objects that could encourage the launching of planes to the field of play and the stadium itself is taking measures,” Olivé said.
In addition, the director responded to questions regarding Tom Brady’s disappearing Super Bowl jersey, which was apparently stolen by a member of the Mexican press after Super Bowl LI in Houston. “It was an isolated event,” explained Olivé. “We have already turned the page and Mexico is bigger than that. We are looking ahead and the league is very happy with the work done in the country.”
Also on Thursday, reports circulated that Mexico was looking to extend its deal with the NFL beyond the initial three-year period; it is also hoping to host a team for training camp in Mexico. Last year’s regular season game was very successful, with a study claiming that the game generated $45 million for Mexico City’s economy as it drew a crowd of 76,473, including 9,500 international tourists. Additionally, the crowd that attended the NFL Fan Fest over that weekend was estimated to be in the range of 205,000.
This year’s Mexico City game will see the Raiders take on the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots on November 19th at the Azteca.