Brazilian football club condemns its fans after ‘queers will be killed’ chant
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.
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.
“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.
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?”
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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.
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.”