August 27, 2021 (New York, NY) — Athlete Ally responded to reports of a fan anti-gay chant during Wednesday night’s MLS-Liga MX All-Star game at the Banc of California Stadium. Officials stopped the match 10 minutes into the game in response to the chant. Players were gathered in the midfield, and fans were reminded of the anti-discrimination protocol before play resumed.
Following FIFA protocols, when officials hear a chant during play, they first stop the game and issue a verbal warning, which is what happened in this instance. The next step is game suspension and moving players off the field, and the following step is to end the match.
“Anti-gay chants, regardless of intent, send a message to LGBTQ+ athletes & fans that they aren’t safe or welcome in sports,” said Athlete Ally in response to the incident. “Making sport truly inclusive means addressing the impact of discriminatory language, providing education on the obstacles to LGBTQ+ inclusion in sport, and mobilizing athletes and fans to speak out when they see or hear discriminatory behavior. Sport will only shift to become more welcoming if we disrupt the status quo, have uncomfortable conversations, and proactively cultivate spaces that are safe for everyone.”