The agony of defeat is one thing, but having to endure being heckled by tens of thousands for being who you are runs counter to the very spirit of the Olympic games.
Chants of “bicha” and other homophobic slurs have dogged LGBTQ participants in the games at Rio, particularly members of the American women’s soccer team. Team USA is led by an out lesbian, Jill Ellis, and several members of the team are also lesbians.
One of them is U.S. midfielder Megan Rapinoe, who called the chant “personally hurtful,”reported PinkNews.
The Portuguese term “bicha,” reported OutSports, is similar to the “puto” chants that fans of Mexico’s World Cup team and of other Latin American countries use to express their extreme displeasure. But as OutSports points out, it’s odd for the slur to surface in women’s matches, given that the term is aimed at men.
Reports say that, although the word sounds similar to “bicha,” there were separate chants of “Zika,” referring to Hope Solo’s openness about her concerns about the mosquito-borne illness.
Players on Australia’s soccer team said they, too, were targeted by the homophobic chants, reported PinkNews.