Don’t go on reading if you think I have the answer to the above question, but it’s one that is being asked more and more these days, especially after a deranged individual stormed a gay bar in Orlando, Florida, killing dozens of people and earning the “honor” of having committed this country’s deadliest mass shooting to date.
Unless you live under a rock or — what’s more likely — don’t follow fútbol mexicano, Mexican soccer fans for years have popularized a simple chant to address goalies. It goes like this: “Ehhhhhhhh, puto!”.
Puto, in a nutshell, can be translated as “fag” and it’s used because in Spanish, to score a goal is to “put [the ball] in” as in meterla (PUT IT IN), get it? Put “it” in.
Per a 2014 story on Vice.com:
[The phrase] was first used by rowdy fans during soccer games in Guadalajara in 2004 —including an Olympics qualifying match against the US, Mexico’s bitter soccer rival, and from there it spread throughout Mexico’s professional soccer league.
It is true that the phrase came across as particularly insensitive Monday night, during a Copa America match between Mexico and Venezuela.
As a writer from The Guardian pointed out this week, the chant’s effect “was all the more jarring after a minute’s silence had been held in the stadium for the victims of the [Orlando] tragedy.”
Upon reading The Guardian story, I texted a [Mexican] friend, in Mexico, and told him: “I feel torn about the puto chant. Personally, I think it’s not the same to chant puto and then go on your way without hurting a fly, than buying a AR-15 automatic rifle and plenty of ammunition, and then go kill 50 people….without uttering the word PUTO even once.”
My friend feels the same way as I do, but perhaps that’s also because, like me, he is also Mexico born and has never lived in PC-USA.
We were both pretty sure that Omar Mateen did not yell “Ehhhhh, PUTOS” when he was doing his bloody business inside the Pulse Nightclub Saturday night. But perhaps the idea of “a bunch of faggots having a good time” was ringing in his head throughout the whole thing in some shape or form. Who the heck cares if he uttered any word or not?
As a Mexican, born in Mexico and accustomed to macho culture & language, but yet raised in a household that was always tolerant to people who were “different” from us, I’ve always deemed the “Ehhhhh, puto” chant as totally harmless.
Now, after 15 years plus living in this country, I’m not so sure.
Help me understand, please. Comments, as usual, are more than welcome, below.