Mexico is shouting "ahhh puto" on every kickoff for the Texans and Raiders game??— JohnnyFootball (@John__Navarro) November 22, 2016
The Oakland Raiders and the Houston Texans went head to head on Monday night in Mexico City, where fans were heard shouting homophobic slurs during the game.
As the game began, spectators could be heard chanting “puto” very clearly during ESPN's live broadcast.
Unfortunately, the network did not make any audible adjustments to mute the word from being heard on TV.
However, there is some contention regarding the chant. While FIFA insists it is used as an anti-gay insult and has fined the Mexican football federation for its use at games, Mexican officials claim that the term is not meant to be offensive.
“We will seek to explain [to FIFA] that the chant in Mexico isn’t done with the intention that FIFA has interpreted, and in the Brazil World Cup the disciplinary committee determined that in this context the chant wasn’t discriminatory,” officials reportedly said in dispute of a hefty fine dished out by FIFA.
According to The Huffington Post, the direct translation of the word “puto” is a male prostitute, which in itself is inappropriate to chant during a sporting event and air on live television — even without the homophobic connotation.
The Huffington Post also noted that in certain contexts the word is also used as a synonym for “jerk” or “coward." This less offensive interpretation seems to be how Mexican officials argue the word is being applied during soccer games and throughout Monday night’s NFL game.
Regardless of how you spin it, the word is clearly an expletive that certainly shouldn’t be audible during a live broadcast aired on national television.
If FIFA and the Mexican Football Federation can’t determine what to do about fans using the term, the NFL should take a stand if they are going to continue hosting games there.
The fact that the word is a source of so much controversy and confusion is a good enough reason to at least keep it off our televisions if they are unable to stop people from shouting it at the games.
Banner Photo Credit: Twitter @SNFonNBC