Racism in Mexican Football

Viewers of this year's World Cup couldn't help but notice the all out anti-racism offensive pushed by FIFA. Given the humiliations long-endured by players of color throughout Europe, the extensive campaign was seen by many as overdue.

Yet despite the newfound awareness, “unfortunately,” writes Raúl Ramirez (ES) of Isopixel, “racism has arrived to Mexican football.”

… en la primera fecha del torneo, los aficionados de Santos Laguna tuvieron algunas actitudes racistas contra el jugador panameño Felipe Baloy al anotar un gol. Un sector de aficionados hacía sonidos guturales que imitaban a un simio cuando el jugador tomaba la pelota. Lamentable sin duda.

Estos hechos pusieron en alerta a las autoridades que están tomando acciones para erradicar este cáncer, las cuáles van desde restar puntos a los equipos en cuyos estadios se den este tipo agresiones, hasta el descenso inmediato a la división inferior.

In the first day of the [Apertura 2006] tournament, the fans of Santos Laguna had some racist attitudes against the Panamanian player Felipe Baloy as he scored a goal. A section of the fans made guttural sounds imitating a chimpanzee when the player had the ball. Deplorable, without a doubt.

The slurs raised a red flag to authorities at task to eradicate this cancer, able to reduce points of the teams in whose stadiums the aggressions occur or immediately demote the club to an inferior division.

En este contexto hace falta mucha sensibilidad y evitar comentarios y actitudes buenas que parezcan malas. Pues bien, sin que hayan pasado más de dos semanas de estos delicados acontecimientos el locutor de Televisa, Enrique Bermúdez de la Serna, apodado el “Perro”, soltó la siguiente perla al minuto 80 del partido América Vs Tigres, cuando Tomás Campos avanzaba por el costado izquierdo de la cancha: “¡Cuidado, ahí viene Memín Pinguín!”

Following the match there was little sensibility, comments were avoided, and well-intentioned attitudes appeared to be bad. Then, less than two weeks after those delicate events, Televisa host, Enrique Bermúdez de la Serna, nicknamed “the Dog,” let out the following gem in the 80th minute of the América Vs Tigres match when Tomás Campos advanced along the left side of the field: “Careful! Here comes Memín Pinguín!”

Deberían retirarle la licencia a este pedazo de imbécil, más que por el desafortunado comentario por sus constantes dislates, agresiones contra el lenguaje y fundamentalmente por sus pésimos apodos. Sólo habrá un Angél Fernández para esos menesteres. Pero no, al parecer a los que corren son a los locutores medianamente buenos, como es el caso de Raúl Orvañanos.

They should strip the license of this imbecile; not just for the unfortunate comment, but also for his constant mess-ups, aggressions against language, and, fundamentally, for his terrible nicknames. There is only one Angel Fernandez to fulfill such needs. But no, it seems that they fire the relatively decent announcers as was the case with Raúl Orvañanos.

Jonathan Hernandez Cantu of Mexico State chides the Televisa network (ES) for, “on the one hand being critical and announcing actions against racism, but then ignoring its own advice when narrating the party.”

Aurecovarrubias makes a simple show of solidarity with a photograph of Baloy wearing a t-shirt which reads, “there are no colors, only players.” The caption of the photo: “hello friends, the photo says it all, Felipe Baloy, we support you brother.”

Finally, Arriba el Monterrey updates the scandal by noting that referee Fabian Delgado Horcasitas officially acknowledged the racist slurs toward Baloy. “The case is now in the hands of the Disciplinary Commission,” continues the post. “Let's hope that an exemplary sanction will put an end to such manifestations that have no place on the football field.”


Raúl Ramirez has an update on the fine imposed on the Santos Laguna team (ES) of Torreón by the Discipliary Commission of FEMEXFUT:

La comisión diciplinaria de la Femex Fut sancionó con 5 mil 600 días de salario mínimo al club Santos por los insultos de racismo contra felipe Baloy del equipo Monterrey.

Este hecho marca un precedente en el fútbol mexicano, el cual hasta ahora se había mantenido sin este tipo de actitudes por parte de aficionados.

The diciplinary commission of the Mexican Federation of Football sanctioned the Santos club with the equivelant of 5,600 days of league minimum wage for the racist insults against Felipe Baloy of the Monterrey squad.

The action marks a precedent in Mexican soccer, which until now had remained free of this type of behavior by fans.

La problematica vendrá cuando algunos aficionados se quieran pasar de listos y perjudiquen al equipo rival. Sería relativamente secillo que, por ejemplo, me enfunde la playera amarilla del América (Dios me libre) junte a un grupo de amigos y nos lancemos al Azteca a joder al equipo rival de turno de los aguiluchos con insultos racistas y a lanzar bananas al campo cuando algún jugador de color toque el balón.

En fin, habrá que tomarse con cautela esta decisión y analizar muy bien los casos de este tipo que se pudieran dar (esperemos que no) en un futuro.

The problems may come when some fans take advantage of the precedent in order to harm the rival team. It would be relatively easy, for example, to slip on a yellow jersey of the América team (God, save me) and join a group of friends as we head to the Aztec stadium to yell at the rival team with racist insults and throw bananas onto the field when some player of color touches the ball.

In short, it will be necessary to take caution with this decsision and analyze these type of cases that may arrive (let's hope not) in the future.


  • Hi

    Maybe this news can be to them interesting: Multa al equipo Santos Laguna por insultos racistas


  • A Brazilian police captain stormed onto the pitch during a “friendly” with Argentina once and arrested an Argentine player on the spot for hurling a racial epithet at a hometeam player.

    There was some question as afterwards as to whether the officer’s “sporting” interest in the match’s outcome had affected his judgment more than his passion to enforce the hate crime laws.

    Shall I send you my blogroll of the lively Mexican “netroots” activity going on around the recount and, now, the Oaxaca gubernatorial elections? It’s quite a story.

    A major cable ISP in a telcom group controlled by a major political dynasty is allegedly blocking access to an extremely popular pro-recount blogging campaign, for example.

    I keep hoping you’ll dig into the situation a bit more. It’s not over yet, you know! And the Ahumada video affair is a “netroots vs. the MSM”-themed scandal that makes Monica’s e-mail pale by comparison! :-)

  • […] I’m telling you: If you’re on the lookout for an emerging emergent media democracy story but are sitting this one out because you don’t think you can pitch it successfully to CNN’s internet reporter, you really ought to get your head out of … the sand. […]

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