Football fan said it was Call of Duty’s fault he used a homophobic slur. Now, he’s trying to make amends after blistering backlash
A football fan who used a homophobic slur while playing Call of Duty with other club supporters has opened up about the impact the incident had on his life – and how he’s trying to make amends.
Josue “Chiquilin” Villanueva used the homophobic slur “faggot” while playing online in a Call of Duty tournament with others members of The 3252, a group of fans of the Los Angeles Football Club, on 24 June.
Villanueva apologised afterwards, realising that he had crossed a line – but the next morning, he woke up to see that an anonymous Twitter account had shared a recording of the incident.
The backlash was blistering, with some fans calling for him to be banned from future LAFC games over the slur. He was hauled into a meeting with his employer over the incident.
Now, the football fan has told Outsports about the efforts he has made to understand the impact of using the slur – and how harmful it can be to members of the LGBT+ community.
LAFC fan Josue ‘Chiquilin’ Villanueva used a homophobic slur while playing Call of Duty, but has been making efforts to amend for his mistake.
Villanueva admitted that he was initially angry, feeling that the backlash was overblown.
But after LAFC LGBT+ supporters group Pride Republic released a statement condemning his actions, he knew he had to try and take some accountability. He arranged to speak to with the group’s president Paul Ruiz.
Speaking to Outsports, Ruiz said that Villanueva “wasn’t getting it” at first.
“He talked about s**t-talking being part of the Call of Duty culture and how he was raised. And he wasn’t quite understanding how the language is hurtful,” he said.
When Paul really explained how the community feels about that word that I used, I immediately wanted to make it right.
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Half an hour into their conversation, Ruiz told Villanueva that a gay person hearing the word “faggot” could be similar to a Black person hearing a racial slur.
The comparison made Villanueva sit up and take notice of the harm he had done to LGBT+ football fans in using the slur.
“When Paul really explained how the community feels about that word that I used, I immediately wanted to make it right,” Villanueva said.
By talking to queer people about the incident, Villanueva said he has come to understand the damage the slur can do.
Since then, he has held a virtual community forum through Zoom to discuss the incident and how he has learned from it.
He also took part in virtual discussion for LAFC fans, hosted by Pride Republic, about the incident.
“I think these are good steps to move forward. I am trying to be an ally,” he said.