Out Sports tells us about a not so festive chant in Rio:

Soccer fans at the opening matches of the Olympic women’s soccer tournament chanted homophobic slurs, among other horrible things, at various players on Wednesday. Reports from various sources say the Portuguese term “bicha” was tossed around liberally by fans during the matches; That is similar to the “puto” chants we have heard from fans of Mexico and other Latin American countries.

The Los Angeles Times‘ Kevin Baxter, who is in Brazil covering the Olympics, said that the homophobic slur was aimed at the U.S. Women’s National Team during its 2-0 victory over New Zealand on Wednesday. At least one of the USWNT players — Megan Rapinoe — is gay, as is head coach Jill Ellis.

You know what else about them? They’re women. Ew, sick, right?

The chant surfaced during the Australia-Canada match as well, in which at least four players identify publicly as LGBT. One of those players is Stephanie Labbé, the Canadian goalkeeper. Given the chant surfaces when the goalkeeper occupies the ball, it’s particularly gross that they would use it specifically targeting Labbé.

The use of “bicha” by fans in men’s matches isn’t new. Janet Lever talks about it in her 1995 book,Soccer Madness: Brazil’s Passion for the World’s Most Popular Sport, describing up to 100,000 people chanting the slur in unison. However, it’s a bit odd for the slur to surface in women’s matches, as it’s a term aimed at men.

Maybe everybody could chant whatever their own language’s word is for human being. Human being! Human being!!

It would make a change, at least.

One Response to “Chants”