Machismo and violence have no place in the soccer world


Bruno Araujo

A heart made out of Liga Mx’s team jerseys

Machismo over a rivalry turned a regular soccer Saturday into the worst day of soccer in Mexico’s history. 

The horrible incident occurred on March 5 in the Mexican Atlas’ fan base is notoriously known as Barra 51 and Querétaro’s historically violent fan base is known as La Resistencia. Both of these fan bases are known for violent acts over the history of the Liga MX.

Most recently in the 2013 season, both teams avoided relegation as they were the two worst teams at the time. Relegation is when the worst teams in the league get demoted to a lower division. This caused even more tension between both fan bases and the police. La Resistencia was trying to get into Atlas’ Estadio Jalisco to attack Barra 51. They started fires and notoriously fought the police for 90 minutes. 

Liga MX soccer clubs Atlas and Querétaro were set to kick off week nine of league play, but fans started a brawl that escalated into a riot.

The match was stopped and suspended at the 63rd minute mark of the game. Fighting was obvious and evident from the viewer’s perspective. Things got so hectic that fans rioted on the field and continued to display their barbaric ways. People used chairs, beer cans, knives and posts to hurt one another. 

Many items were thrown and almost harmed innocent families — the things that were occurring in Querétaro’s Estadio Corregidora were inhumane. I am not going to be sharing photos or videos, but the things I saw with my own eyes were utterly disgusting. 

After the last game of the night was finished as Puebla defeated Cruz Azul, the league announced that all men’s and women’s league games would be canceled until further notice.

The league did the right thing canceling Sunday’s games, but league officials are hardly without blame. Instead of canceling the games right away, they waited until the late-night slate of games to do so.

According to the Gov. of the state of Querétaro, Mauricio Kuri, 26 people were injured. Well I am here to say that his claim is false. I believe they are trying to cover up the real number to avoid as many repercussions as they can.

There isn’t an official count of deceased people, but in some of the videos you can clearly tell that some men were beaten so bad they appeared to be dead. 

It all stems from the idea of machismo, an aggressive masculine pride. Machismo is very common in Hispanic culture, specifically in Mexican culture. Mexicans take pride in the teams they root for and when you disagree with the opponent’s fans, things of such nature will occur. 

Selecting a soccer team to root for in a Mexican household is impossible. You are programmed to root for the team your father figure roots for. Obviously everyone doesn’t root for the same team, and this is where the idea of machismo makes a way into your life.

Rivalries in Mexican soccer are a tricky situation. You see people try to be right, and that leads to ego wars between men. This all happens over a soccer game because Mexican men take too much pride in their team.

The desire to be the alpha male is what feeds this idea of machismo. This happens more often than not in Mexican culture. Men think that if they don’t have the last say or the most power, it means they are weaker than others.

This is where those types of men have the game all mixed up. Having that type of mentality is more damaging than rewarding. Those who think like this are typically aggressive and close-minded. 

Growing up around people who displayed this type of mentality was hard. My father, who was one of the few people I knew who opposed this idea, would always reassure me that being a machoman isn’t what life’s all about.

I saw people in my life where machismo totally ruined who they were. My father made sure to keep me away from this type of mentality.

He told me that life isn’t about being the alpha male, it is about being the best person you can. He emphasized to me that this type of mentality would get me nowhere in life and that keeping an open mind was the way to go.

In some of the videos of the riots, you can tell it stemmed from an Atlas fan and Querétaro fan arguing over the teams they root for. They were calling each other obscene things and wanted to fight over it, all because of a soccer game. It got the point where both fan bases barricaded fences to get access points to be able to attack one another. 

People like this are the reason why we can’t have nice things in society, because of them Querétaro’s stadium and season are ultimately in question. Did the people who started the riot even think about that?

There is no place for violence in soccer. Soccer is a beautiful game, but instances like these make you scratch your head at how ugly the sport can be. It all lies in the principles we are taught, because it’s the FANS who were the perpetrators of this situation. 

I know that the motherland is hurting, but I promise you things will get better. The Liga MX’s slogan is “Grita X La Paz,” which roughly translates to “Advocate for Peace.” Fans, please wake up, follow the slogan and stop being idiots. 
Javier Hernandez can be reached at [email protected] or @jhm1226 on Twitter.