Third division side, Boa Esporte, made headlines after they agreed to sign former Flamengo goalkeeper, Bruno Fernandes das Dores de Souza.
Unsurprisingly, the signing has come under a lot of scrutiny considering Bruno’s past.
In 2013, Bruno was convicted of ordering the kidnapping and subsequent murder of his ex-girlfriend, Eliza Samudio. She was killed after she requested that Bruno pay child support for their infant son.
The details of the case stunned the people of Brazil as it was discovered that not only had Bruno planned the kidnapping and murder of Eliza, but had her remains fed to dogs. Her body was never recovered.
Bruno was convicted in 2013 and sentenced to 22 years in jail. However, after only serving a couple of years, he was recently released based on a legal technicality, pending an appeal on his conviction.
Boa Esporte, wasted little time in making his signing official.
News of the signing was met with outrage with Boa Esporte’s main sponsor, Gois and Silva, withdrawing their sponsorship. Three other backers have also rescinded their support. However, this has not deterred the club from continuing with the signing.
Boa Esporte’s press release stated, “The club reiterates its position that it is in favor of social reintegration and that Bruno the goalkeeper deserves a new opportunity as a professional. The club has no link to personal actions by Bruno or his past.”
Bruno believes he deserves a second chance and hopes to play for the Brazilian national team.
He said, “”Dreaming is never too much. Bruno is alive because of his dreams. Once I dreamed about returning here, and now I have the opportunity.”
The bigger issue here is what kind of message does this send to the people, particularly the women, of Brazil?
That there were fans outside the stadium happy with Bruno’s signing is disappointing.
With women worldwide marching for equality and respect, Bruno’s signing is another example that if you’re a professional athlete, past transgressions will be overlooked if you’re good at what you do.