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Brazilian football club condemns its fans after ‘queers will be killed’ chant

Josh Jackman September 18, 2018
Fans of Brazil's Atletico Mineiro cheer for their team during their 2016 Libertadores Cup match against Argentina's Racing at the Independencia Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on May 4, 2016. / AFP / DOUGLAS MAGNO (Photo credit should read DOUGLAS MAGNO/AFP/Getty Images)

Atletico Mineiro fans sang the chant on Sunday (DOUGLAS MAGNO/AFP/Getty)

A Brazilian football club has condemned its own supporters after they chanted death threats at opposing fans.

On Sunday (September 16), during a 0-0 draw between Atlético Mineiro and Cruzeiro, Mineiro supporters sang: “Cruzeiro fans, be careful, Bolsonaro will kill the queers.”

Their chant referred to Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right, anti-LGBT politician who has said he would prefer to have a dead son over a gay one, and is the frontrunner to become Brazil’s next president.

Brazilian right-wing presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro speaks during a campaign rally in the district of Ceilandia in Brasilia, on September 5, 2018. - Brazil will hold presidential elections on October 7. (Photo by EVARISTO SA / AFP) (Photo credit should read EVARISTO SA/AFP/Getty Images)
He has said there are “fundamentalist homosexual groups that are trying to take over society” (EVARISTO SA/AFP/Getty)

In a statement on Twitter, the club—one of the biggest in the country—wrote that it “deeply regrets the homophobic manifestations of the fans in the Mineiro game this Sunday.”

“We reiterate our repudiation of any gestures of prejudice or incitement to violence,” the team said.

Mineiro added: “The biggest crowd in Minas Gerais [the state in which the club plays] is made up of people from all social classes, races and genres, without any kind of discrimination.

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 16: Players of Cruzeiro and Atletico MG shake hands before the match between Cruzeiro and Atletico MG as part of Brasileirao Series A 2018 at Mineirao stadium on September 16, 2018 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo by Pedro Vilela/Getty Images)
Players of Cruzeiro and Atletico Mineiro shake hands (Pedro Vilela/Getty)

“This is not part of our glorious history!”

Bolsonaro leads the polls by somewhere between 10 and 17 percentage points, according to polls taken over the past week.

He surged to the front of the race after former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva—commonly known as Lula—was banned from running last month because he is serving a 12-year jail term for corruption.

Brazilian congressman and presidential canditate for the next election, Jair Bolsonaro (R), cheer the crowd during a military event in Sao Paulo, Brazil on May 3, 2018. (Photo by Nelson ALMEIDA / AFP) (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)
He said he would punch men if he saw them kissing each other in public (NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty)

The Social Liberal Party representative, who was stabbed during a rally earlier this month, has made numerous anti-gay comments, including in 2015 when he said hospital patients should be allowed to reject ‘gay blood.’

Just last month, he stood by his previous statement that if he saw two men kissing in the street, he would punch them.

“I do not kiss my wife on the street. Why face society? Why take that into the school?” asked Bolsonaro.

“Little children of six or seven, watching two men kiss as the government wanted them to do. Is this democracy?”

Brazilian right-wing presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro gestures during a campaign rally in the district of Ceilandia in Brasilia, on September 5, 2018. - Brazil will hold presidential elections on October 7. (Photo by EVARISTO SA / AFP) (Photo credit should read EVARISTO SA/AFP/Getty Images)
He equated homosexuality with paedophilia (EVARISTO SA/AFP/Getty)

He then equated homosexuality to paedophilia, making a link which is historically popular among homophobes and has experienced a resurgence over the past year, thanks to alt-right trolls.

The politician, who served as an army captain under Brazil’s brutal 21-year-long dictatorship, said: “So let’s respect the paedophile’s right to have sex with a two-year-old? Would that unite [Brazil]?”

Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old congressman who has been in Brazil’s parliament for 27 years, told Playboy in 2011 that death would be better for a child of his than homosexuality.

Brazilian presidential candidate for the Social Liberal Party (PSL) Jair Bolsonaro (C) poses for a picture with a military man during the graduation ceremony of a military school in Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 17, 2018. - Brazilian general elections will take place next October 7. (Photo by NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP) (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)
“Pride? Happiness? Celebrate if his son turns out gay? No way.” (NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty)

He said: “I would be incapable of loving a gay son. I prefer that he die in an accident.”

In 2013, during an interview with Stephen Fry, he reiterated this opinion, saying that “no father would ever take pride in having a gay son.”

“Pride? Happiness? Celebrate if his son turns out gay? No way.”

More: Americas, atletico mineiro, Brazil, Brazil, cruzeiro, football, Jair Bolsonaro, Politics, presidential election, Social Liberal Party, South America, sport

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