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Antigay Chants, Fights Break Out as U.S. Beats Mexico in Men’s Soccer

Antigay Chants, Fights Break Out as U.S. Beats Mexico in Men’s Soccer

<p>Antigay Chants, Fights Break Out as U.S. Beats Mexico in Men’s Soccer</p>

Wild videos show homophobic fans chanting slurs as brawls erupted in the stands and on the field.

The U.S. Men’s National Team in soccer advanced to the CONCACAF Nations League Finals with a dominating 3-0 performance against Mexico Thursday night in Nevada’s Allegiant Stadium. But the match turned violent with multiple brawls between players on the field and play was temporarily halted three times when fans of the Mexican hurled projectiles, beer, and antigay chants at the American players.

The troubles began in the second half when Mexico’s Cesar Montes took American Folarin Balogun to the turf. After momentarily clutching his leg and writhing in pain, Balogun looked up.

“And I just saw a swarm of people fighting,” he told Yahoo Sports.

For the next 30 minutes, play stopped for periodic fights between players while fans of the Mexican team rained beer on the American players. They also began chanting an antigay slur, which soon boomed across the stadium in the latter stages of the match. Referees stopped play three times to get the crowd and game under control but with little success.

“You could tell it’s coming," U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner said of the chants. “And it’s distracting. It goes against everything that we stand for on our side. We've been very vocal and open about the strength of our team being our diversity, the strength of our nation being its diversity. So, to use something so divisive during a game, a spirited game – and maybe the play sort of set the flares off in the stands, but it has no place in the game.”

Four players received red cards and were ejected from the game, reducing each side from 11 to 9 players on the field. The match was finally called five minutes early.

Players later said they only experience this type of violence and anti-LGBTQ+ slurs when playing the Mexican national team.

“Um, not really," American Tim Weah replied when asked if they experienced similar incidents against other teams. “Really only Mexico.”

In 2021 a CONCACAF Nations match in Denver, Col. between the U.S. and Mexico was paused for three minutes because of anti-gay chants from Mexico’s fans. When American Christian Pulisic kicked the winning goal and ran to his teammates, including Giovanni Reyna, a fan struck Reyna in the face with an object while other fans threw cups and bottles onto the field. Trainers walked him off the field after he was injured.

The Americans won that game as well, securing a 3-2 victory.

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