Seattle, WA - Robert Elliot Jones, a junior sales associate with Dmitri's Meat in Bremerton, Washington, was confronted and escorted from the recent Seattle Sounders game and then beaten in the parking lot after getting caught up in the moment and screaming the homophobic slur 'puto' in the supporters area of the Sounders stadium.
Jones, a native English speaker with exactly one year of high school Spanish, had the following to say. "Well, I'm not much of a drinker and my wife purchased the tickets for me as a boys night out type of thing since I've been taking care of our little Aiden, Kaiden and Jaiden at home for the last two months. When I got to the stadium I had a bit too much white wine before the game started. I'm usually a half glass drinker and I had a glass and a half. I knew it was going to be crazy."
Jones stated that he took his seat in the supporters section and the emotion of the crowd carried him away. "I honestly didn't mean to offend. I heard tons of fans yelling out the word during the World Cup so I thought that is what you are supposed to do. They'd always yell it as the keeper was kicking the ball so I thought it was Spanish for "punt." Look, I have tons of Hispanic friends. I mean I know a few that go to our church. At least I say hi to them from time to time when I see them in their cars as they are leaving their Spanish service. And by saying hi I mean I waive to them when they leave my parking spot. I would never say something in public that would offend them."
While Mr. Jones believed the word was Spanish for punt, the word is actually taken by North American fans to be a homophobic slur. This ignorance resulted in a major confrontation for Mr. Jones. "It was awful. People started screaming at me, someone dumped a beer on my head, another person pulled me out of my seat and started yelling at me and poking me in the face. At first I didn't even know what I did. When I finally heard someone yell 'You can't say that!' I asked, 'What can't I say? Puto?' At that point a woman screamed 'He said it again!' and I was then drug out of the supporters section and into the back parking lot."
We spoke with one of the Sounders supporters to get their take on what happened next. "He was, like, a total Class A bigoted douchebag and needed to be served. While we waited for the King County Sheriffs to arrive we made sure he understood that we don't allow intolerance in our section by beating him." It was also reported that profanities about servicing Mr. Jones' mother were also hurled in his direction as a way to demonstrate that being offensive to others is not allowed at CenturyLink Field.
Mr. Jones was then forced to attend mandatory sensitivity training before being allowed back into another game. Mr. Jones has stated he learned a valuable lesson about swearing at soccer games and plans to keep any future swearing outbursts confined to the three swear words that his German grandfather taught him 26 years ago that he has no idea what they mean.