As more and more Premier League games become available in the United States, more and more Americans are paying attention to English soccer. That also means more and more Americans are referring to Manchester United, the most popular club in England, as “Man U.”
There is just one problem: “Man U” is considered a derogatory slur to many supporters of the famed football club.
The insulting nature of the term originated with some chants used by the supporters of opposing clubs. While insulting chants are everywhere in soccer, some go too far.
In the case of “Man U,” the term was used in several chants that referred to the Munich Air Disaster of 1958 in which 23 people died, including eight United players.
One example includes “Man U, Man U went on a plane. Man U, Man U never came back again,” in which the “U” is interchangeable with the word “You.”
Many Americans are unaware of the history of the term. However, others are aware of the insulting nature and continue to use the term out of convenience.
Here is a conversation I had with Darren Rovell of ESPN.com after he used “ManU” in a tweet:
Clearly Americans are not using the term in a derogatory manner and “Man U” is not on the same level as slurs based on race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. But if the term is considered an insult to the memory of players loved by a fanbase, maybe we should just be respectful and stop using it.
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