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Atlanta United addressing anti-gay chant at first match

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New York Red Bulls midfielder Felipe Martins (8) reacts as they win the game at the conclusion of the second half of an MLS soccer game against the Atlanta United FC on Sunday, March 5, 2017, in Atlanta. The New York Red Bulls won the game 2-1. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland)



ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta United said Monday it is "taking measures internally" to address an anti-gay chant used by some fans attending the team's first Major League Soccer match.

United spokesman Winkler said the team was aware of the chant during Sunday night's 2-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls. In a statement to The Associated Press, the team said the chants "have no place in our matches" and fans participating in those chants will be removed from games.

Some fans complained about Atlanta fans chanting a Spanish word at New York players that is an offensive term for a male prostitute.

Atlanta drew a sellout crowd of 55,297 for its first MLS game. The team made announcements before the game asking fans to avoid abusive behavior.

"Atlanta United does not support or condone the use of offensive language," the statement said. "We strive to foster a positive, enthusiastic and inclusive environment for all fans, and inappropriate chants have no place at our matches. Fans found to be participating in this behavior will be subject to removal from the building."

Atlanta's temporary home is Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium. The team's debut in $1.5 billion Mercedes Benz Stadium is scheduled for July 30. United will share the facility with the NFL's Atlanta Falcons.






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