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Carlos Vela calls out offensive chant as efforts to eliminate it at LAFC games pay off

Pledges to observe “zero tolerance” on matter were followed.

MLS: FC Dallas at Los Angeles FC Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The opening week of Banc of California Stadium created positive memories and good impressions with one notable exception: The offensive goal kick chant that remains common in many North American stadiums.

Los Angeles Football Club and their supporters groups moved quickly to condemn the chants after the first game at home and pledged a zero tolerance policy towards offenders, and on Saturday, in the second home game, there was the opportunity to see if the efforts worked.

On the bright side, they seem to have been successful.

You’ll note that this video is in the south end of the stadium, where the chant was loudest in the opening game, and the end opposite of The 3252, so a spot in which using the chant may have been more difficult to eradicate without the efforts of coordinated supporters groups.

In addition to the pledges from The 3252 and LAFC, prior to the match against FC Dallas, members of The 3252 made a video in Spanish explaining why the chant was not welcome “in MLS, in Banc of California Stadium, or with LAFC.”

As a result of the progress made on this front, LAFC Pride Republic, an LGBT supporters group, released a statement following the game on Saturday expressing their gratitude for the rest of the fanbase and the club in stomping out the chant.

When asked after the game about the chant in general, LAFC star Carlos Vela concurred with the stand taken by the club, saying the chant needed to be eliminated “everywhere around the world” and that it negatively affects the players.

Given Vela’s status as one of the biggest Mexican stars in global soccer, taking a stand against a chant started in Mexico around the turn of this century is a significant step, one that will hopefully help continue the efforts to eliminate it. And Vela recognizes the impact his words make, here and abroad — will the steps taken at Banc of California Stadium lead to more change in other stadiums? Time will tell.

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