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.
LAFC coming out with multiple speakers, Ciman, and a video condemning the chant.— ⚽ ️ (@lafcpodcast) May 5, 2018
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.”
Shout out to @LAFC3252 for this video in support of ending the derogatory chant. It's not a 'tradition' anyone should continue and we appreciate @LAFC and the Supporters Union taking a stand. #wearenotsnowflakes #wearewarriors #stoptheslur #lafc #lafc3252 #lafcpriderepublic pic.twitter.com/ZRR2AM18Fa— LAFC Pride Republic (@LAFCPrideRepub) May 5, 2018
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.
“I don’t think it helps anyone. Not our team or the opposing team. It affects our team. It’s something that needs to change not just here but everywhere around the world.” @11carlosV praises @LAFC3252 and @LAFCPrideRepub on their stance to end the GK chant pic.twitter.com/n0YJpBJiJh— Fut Mex Nation (@FutMexNation) May 5, 2018
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.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!