Los Angeles Football Club and the 3252 Independent Supporters’ Union have issued an official statement regarding a certain offensive chant used by some members of the crowd in LAFC’s home opener, a 1-0 win against the Seattle Sounders in the first match at Banc of California Stadium on Sunday.
It started in the first half and got louder in the second, where some members of the crowd would shout a certain discriminatory slur (it starts with p, you know the one) on Seattle goal kicks. Once attention was brought to it, many called out the fans in attendance for participating in the homophobic slur.
Some accounts said that the chant was coming from the supporters’ section. Responses to that were that people in the sections who had participated in that chant had either been told to stop or removed, and that the chant was coming from other sections. In the end, it does not matter who was shouting the homophobic chant, but really that it was taking place, even after other MLS teams have struggled with this in their stadiums before.
LAFC Pride Republic issued a statement just hours after the match, saying “Slurs of any form against any group, including those targeted against the LGBT community, have no place in our city and at our new stadium.“
Please see below for a statement from @LAFCPrideRepub. Help us eradicate this bigotry from our stadium and our club. RT to get the message out. #lafc #lafc3252 #LAFCPrideRepublic #LGBT #Equality #soccerforall pic.twitter.com/CZ0NAELzOJ— LAFC Pride Republic (@LAFCPrideRepub) April 30, 2018
Later on Monday, the team issued a statement alongside the Supporters Groups, condemning the use of the word and saying there will be “zero tolerance” for those using it and club memberships will be revoked by those who used it.
“LAFC and The 3252 Independent Supporters Union are committed to creating a positive, enthusiastic and inclusive environment for all fans as we move forward with our mission to Unite the World’s City through the World’s Game.
“The offensive goal kick chant is wrong and not what we are about. We ask that all of our fans and Supporters work to hold each other accountable to eliminate this from Banc of California Stadium,” said LAFC President and Owner Tom Penn and Josef Zacher, President of the 3252 in a joint statement.
LAFC and The 3252 does not support or condone the use of offensive language and inappropriate chants. They have no place at Banc of California Stadium and within our Club.
Any fans identified as participating in this offensive chanting will be removed from the stadium and the Club will revoke their season membership.
LAFC and its Supporters will continue to actively work together to enforce a zero-tolerance policy at Banc of California Stadium. Together, let’s win in the stands.“
Our code of conduct includes this tenant: “We embrace everyone who is willing to stand with the 3252, sing with the 3252 and support the Los Angeles Football Club ... Discrimination or prejudice will never be tolerated.”— The 3252 (@LAFC3252) April 30, 2018
More: https://t.co/mzViKgfbi1 pic.twitter.com/PW0ruVybSS
From The 3252’s statement on their social media channels: “A beautiful homecoming can be spoiled by intolerable “tradition.” Our code of conduct includes the following tenant: “We embrace everyone who is willing to stand with The 3252, sing with The 3252 and support the Los Angeles Football Club with us no matter your race, national origin, religion, political views, sexual orientation or gender. Discrimination or prejudice will never be tolerated by The 3252 Independent Supporters Union.” We will continue to work with LAFC fans and front office staff to eliminate any discriminatory chants in The North End and Banc of California Stadium.“
So now the club and the supporters’ groups have denounced using the word, and you’ll be removed from the stadium if you do. It also does not sound like you’ll be welcome back. No excuses. It’s a testament to the groups and the club that they hopped on this and made these statements and policies as quickly as they did, not even 20 hours after the end of the match. Hopefully, this is the end of the chant in Banc of California Stadium, and from any LAFC fans. Which would be one step closer to being the end of it in the league.
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