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Zepeda: Cowards ruin loudest moment in Snapdragon Stadium history with homophobia
Abraham Zepeda - June 12, 2023
Zepeda: Cowards ruin loudest moment in Snapdragon Stadium history with homophobia - Everything San Diego

As I drove into Snapdragon Stadium on Saturday afternoon I wondered how the San Diego Wave could attract Mexican fans like this. Vendors lined the streets selling Mexico flags, noisemakers and lucha libre masks. If I didn’t know better I would’ve thought this was the ready lane in San Ysidro.

I have never seen the new stadium shake like it did last night during the Mexico Men’s National Team friendly against Cameroon. 30,543 fans took part in the moment when Kevin Alvarez scored his first international goal to equalize at 2-2 in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

With about a minute left in the game Mexico tried to steal the ball back to rush back down the field to win the game, but were unsuccessful. The teams got chippy with each other as the game wound down with a free kick for Cameroon that was taken by their goalkeeper. The infamous discriminatory chant loudly blared through the stadium as the referee blew the final whistle to end the game.

Referees have the ability to pause and end a game should the homophobic chant be used, but the fans (bigots) in Mission Valley waited until they knew there would be no repercussions for their actions to use the p-word.

Fans knew the consequences and collectively decided ‘We’re about to go on summer break anyway the teachers can’t get us in trouble now.’


Some will try to say the word means something else, and it is simply an expression of culture. Well then that culture is proudly homophobic. It's that simple. There are plenty of curse words in Spanish that can be used to replace it if you really need to let the opposing team know you care.

I asked the Mexico Manager Diego Cocca after the match for comment on the intensity between the two sides as well as the chant.

“The message we’re trying to get across is to be competitive and that we don’t like to lose, but always within the rules,” Cocca said. “On the topic of the chant it is something that we don’t agree with and hope doesn’t happen again.”

The Mexican Futbol Federation played a video before the game in the stadium featuring players asking fans to not say the word, but it didn’t work. Statements like Cocca’s will continue to be given by officials in the Mexican Futbol Federation, but it has not worked. Signs at every gate said not to use the chant. A video of players asking fans to not say the word hasn’t worked.

I don’t know what will work.

For many Mexican fans they will remember the game for two great stoppage time goals to tie the game. Not me. All I can think about is the other loudest moment I’ve witnessed at Snapdragon.

Kailen Sheridan saved a penalty kick and grabbed the rebound shot that came right after against rivals Angel City FC. The stadium which was already loud exploded for the amazing play which sounded even louder than the Wave’s goal.

Sheridan was the 2022 NWSL goalkeeper of the year and has helped the Wave to the top of the table halfway through the season with four straight road clean sheets.

She also happens to be gay. Many members of the Wave are and athletes across many sports are forced to hide their sexuality because of blatant homophobia from sports fans.

Sheridan and other members of the team have spoken out against homophobia in the sport and homophobic policies in the past. For instance, when the team played an away match in Florida last season after Governor Ron DeSantis signed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill the whole team wore pride shirts.

Head Coach Casey Stoney said after that match, “I’m a gay female and I don’t feel welcome in this state… And I think it was a stand for us as a club to stand up for certain policies so that all communities can feel safe in any states.”

The Wave and the Mexico team just played in the same venue, but I doubt I will hear that word or chant at a Wave game.

I haven’t heard bandas norteñas getting people ready, or smelled amazing carne asada down every row in the parking lot at a Wave match. The Mexican soccer fan inside my soul knows there is a lot to be desired in terms of atmosphere at a Wave game.

But if our soccer culture is content with continuing its blatantly homophobic traditions, then I’ll be fine leaving my Mexican soccer fandom behind.

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