The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Argentine Federation (FALGBT by its initials in Spanish) has created a series of videos in response to fans chanting racist and anti-gay sentiments during soccer games in their national stadiums. Although the footage was taped during the games held in Argentina and the not the current World Cup, the videos relate to the same sport that is receiving global attention this summer. The problem is universal as organizations in the UK have also worked hard to get fans not to use offensive language during their games back home. The FALGBT videos have received positive press and have brought a record number of visitors to its webpages.
Of the response, Esteban Paulon shared the following:
"El mensaje fue recibido positiviamente y sobre todo, propositivamente ya que se buscó generar empatía en las audiencias y eso se ha logrado."
"The message was received positively and more than that, the project has met with our goal of generating empathy in our audiences [towards people being hurt by the chants]."
We asked if Argentinian fans have continued using homophobic language during the World Cup and Paulon shared the following:
"En el caso de Argentina no. Pero sí hemos estado al tanto de lo ocurrido con México y el canto de "put*" que para la mayor parte de los países de América Latina es discriminatorio. Habrá que ver si luego de la Copa, en los torneos locales, se pueden modificar las conductas discriminatorias que suceden aún hoy día en la cancha."
"Not Argentinian fans no. But we have been following what happened in Mexico with the "put*" chant that in most of our Latin American countries is considered a discriminatory word. We will have to see if after the World Cup, during our local tournaments, we can change the discriminatory behavior that continues to happen in our fields back home."
The series of ads produced by FALGBT feature the chants in Spanish that fans have shouted from national stadiums along with statements from players and celebrities such as Argentinian TV Host Mex Urtizberea, that are asking people not act this way. The tag line is Fair Play in the fields and stadiums. The chants hurl racist and homophobic insults at the opposing team.
As FIFA organizes this World Cup and the next two which are slated to take place in countries that have discriminatory laws against the LGBT community (Russia and Qatar), advocates are asking that FIFA take a stand against this behavior and these laws. You can visit our GLAAD World Cup page to support the campaign.