World Cup Brings Out Worst in Fans and Players

International broadcast stations have already covered Uruguay’s nasty player, Luis Suarez, and his habit of biting fellow soccer players, so I won’t go into that here.  FIFA is going to care of him, right?

However, inspired by a friend’s recent Facebook status where she noted that Mexican fans in Los Angeles, California, over-celebrated Mexico’s win over Croatia,  I feel compelled to share my thoughts.

Mexico World Cup Jersey

The recent events in Los Angeles regarding soccer fans’ reaction to Mexico’s victory over Croatia at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil were perpetrated, to sum it up concisely and succinctly, by una bola de nacos! (a bunch of hooligans!) This is exactly how many of us Mexicans felt as we watched the disturbing news reports coming out of LA on the evening of this significant win by Mexico’s team to move forward in the FIFA World Cup.

I wish there was a way fans could control their emotions — especially when they feel obliged to destroy property or hurt each other as was the case in LA.

It’s shameful, really, because as a native Mexican it embarrassed me to witness my countrymen behave so barbarically in the USA. But, I am not surprised.  Did you see how the fans in Mexico reacted? Take a look at what they did.

“Entre los individuos come entre las naciones, el derecho al respeto ajeno es la paz.” (Among individuals, as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace) ~ Benito Juarez (President of Mexico, 1861-1872)

As my friend pointed out, there are immigrants living in Los Angeles from each of the 31 countries playing in this year’s World Cup, but only the Mexicans behaved in a very un-sportsman like manner. It’s actually the epitome of sore winners.

Why must our third world mentality seep into the lives some have forged for themselves in an industrialized and civilized country that is hosting them?

Rise up to these occasions with dignity, not in violence! It is also sad, that from my friend’s same post, I surmised that all Mexicans were being judged by the behavior of a few. Latinos living in the USA are 22 million strong, in a variety of immigration statuses, but a large contingency nonetheless. The poorly judged reactions of those few who chose to take to the streets and vandalize other people’s property should not reflect on an entire minority class.

It’s true that for all the years one lives in a country that is not their native land, they never completely shake off their roots. I was asked if I feel Mexican first, though I’ve lived in this country more than half of my life. The is answer is, yes. In my case, being born and raised south of border is something that is seared into my soul and it will never go away. I got rid of the accent and adopted most of this country’s good habits; a work ethic, respect for others and their property, and to follow the law. Sadly, these simple things can be dispensed with in my native Mexico and many think they can do and behave the same here as they did back home.

I’m afraid you can’t have it both ways, compadres, so choose your allegiance and stick to it. Don’t ruin it for everyone.

Let’ s try to show our host country that though we are free to celebrate our cultural backgrounds here, we are not free to behave like we did in the country we decided to abandon for an improved life up north; a more civilized existence with access and recourse to justice.

Don’t abuse your hard-earned privilege, amigos, because you give us all a bad a name. Now, let’s do like FIFA will (hopefully) do with Luis Suarez and put a leash on this animalistic behavior.

Where you also disgusted by these actions?


  1. Maryann says:

    Agree 100%. LOVE THIS POST. Celebrate, be proud of your heritage and countrymen, but keep it civilized and safe for others. So sad when this happens– and unfortunately you will have people that will see things like this happen and make broad assumptions based off of a few “hooligans.”

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