SAN JOSE (CBS SF/KCBS) — The San Jose Earthquakes were quick to denounce behavior by their own fans, ironically during LGBT Pride weekend. In a match Saturday night against the LA Galaxy at Stanford Stadium, fans repeatedly chanted a homophobic insult.
Whenever Galaxy goalie Brian Rowe put the ball back in play, some San Jose fans yelled the Spanish word for a male prostitute and often used as an offensive term for homosexuals.
The gay slur could be heard loud and clear, not only by the players on the field and fans in the stands, but also by viewers at home who watched the match on Univision.
The San Jose Earthquakes issued a statement after the match:
“We are extremely disappointed and shocked at the behavior of a portion of our fan base during our match tonight at Stanford Stadium. As an organization, we do not tolerate or condone this type of speech at our matches. It violates the Earthquakes and Major League Soccer’s Fan Code of Conduct and any fan found in violation of this code is subject to expulsion and further punishment.
“We pride ourselves on creating an inclusive and family-friendly environment for all fans. We will take an immediate leadership role in combating this type of behavior for the rest of the season and beyond.”
Univision has also taken a stance against the slur, saying in a previous statement the network does not “condone or endorse the use of such language.”
Defenders argue the term has many interpretations and is being used in fun.
The chanting is hardly a first. In fact, Mexican fans could be heard chanting the same slur at Levis Stadium the previous weekend.
Meanwhile, FIFA has threatened to impose steep fines. If fans continue the offensive behavior, World Cup qualifying home games could be played without any spectators.
Ironically, the homophobic slur was chanted on the eve of the largest Gay Pride celebration in the world, just miles away in San Francisco.
Gabrielle Antolovich of the Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center in San Jose told KPIX 5 there is no room for those hateful insults.
“It’s like people feel comfortable being homophobic and what is that about?!” said Antolovich. “We need to know that that action is being taken because homophobia is part of a hate crime really.”
Coincidentally, the Earthquakes are already scheduled to host a Pride Night on Friday, July 8th. A dollar from every one of the 18,000 tickets sold will be donated to local LGTBQ non-profits.