The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) has partnered with GLAAD to announce a new campaign meant to curb fans from participating in a popular homophobic chant and provide a more inclusive environment for LGBTQ sports fans.
This new measures come as soccer fans worldwide have adopted a Spanish-language anti-gay slur to taunt goalkeepers during goal kicks.
LAFC, GLAAD, and The 3252 Independent Supporters Union will now ban any fan participating in offensive chants from the stadium as well as revoking the membership of any offending season members.
“Last season, we were disappointed and upset that the chant resurfaced at our stadium,” said LAFC President and Co-Owner Tom Penn and Jimmy Lopez, President of the 3252 in a joint statement. “We pledged at that time to take steps to eliminate the chant from our games, and we are thankful to work with GLAAD and our fans and Supporters to hold each other accountable. We believe that our more robust and educated security presence will help create an experience we can all be proud of.”
The new initiative includes a video that will play before and during games with LAFC players and head coach condemning the use of offensive chants in multiple languages.
“Our club is for everyone. Stand with us, shoulder to shoulder, to create the best atmosphere in MLS. Stop the hateful chant during goal kicks," the video states. "Racism, sexism, homophobia, and discrimination will not be tolerated in our stadium."
"Together, let’s win in the stands,” it continues.
The new policies will be implemented by an increased security force that has been specially trained to combat the issue.
“When fans attend a match, they should be met with a stadium that welcomes everyone and unites people to cheer for the LAFC, but whenever this chant occurred, LGBTQ and ally fans were made to feel less than,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “With this new campaign, the LAFC has raised the bar for inclusion and we hope that other teams nationwide and Major League Soccer will follow their lead by taking proactive steps to create safe and inclusive stadiums.”
Watch the Video Below:
#LAFC and @LAFC3252 are standing up against homophobia, transphobia, racism and sexism.
We teamed up with @glaad to ensure an inclusive, welcoming, and safe experience for all fans at LAFC home matches in 2019.
— LAFC (@LAFC) March 3, 2019