You only have to ask yourself one question: would you want your child watching Bruno Fernandes de Souza play football for your team? You might also ask: could you bring yourself to cheer for him?
De Souza is a 32-year-old Brazilian goal keeper who has just signed with Boa Esporte, a club in Brazil's second tier football league, Serie B. Known just as Bruno, he was once a popular football figure in Brazil. But de Souza is also a man with a sickening violent past.
In 2010 he was charged with the torture and murder of his extra-marital girlfriend, Eliza Samudio. The two had met a sex party but when she fell pregnant, he insisted she have an abortion. She refused, giving birth to a son, Bruninho.
@antsharwood And now some guys want the people to cheer for him in a soccer field. It's unfair and unacceptable.— Pedro Laurentino (@wedafux) 15 de março de 2017
In June of that year, Samudio was abducted and reportedly tortured for six days. De Souza then ordered her body to be fed to dogs. He was sentenced to a 22-year jail term.
But de Souza got out of jail in February on a technicality related to Brazil's notoriously slow appeals process. His release was greeted with outrage from the family of the victim, feminist groups and wider Brazilian society.
@antsharwood are saying bruno should have a chance in society again. worse, not only as a common citizen, but someone that can be idolised.— eita! (@guebis) 15 de março de 2017
@antsharwood He is a murderer that has been treated like a superstar. Quite an example.— Wolverany (@anyvalette) 15 de março de 2017
One long and poignant Facebook post by a femninist group concluded with the simple sentence: "A carreira de um jogador de futebol não pode ser mais importante que a vida de uma mulher!" It translates as:
The career of a football player can not be more important than the life of a woman!
Brazilian feminists and human rights groups continue to fight against a culture of violence towards women in some quarters of Brazilian society. "Violence against women and girls remained widespread," wrote Amnesty International in its 2016/17 annual report. The report cited studies showing that lethal violence against women had increased by 24 percent over the previous decade.
Figures from Brazilian non-profit group Mapa da Violencia show that Brazil's female homicide was the highest in the world in 2013. Interestingly, the rate was dropping in big cities where education programs are in place. That's why so many people are angry about de Souza playing topline football again. It sets a terrible example.
@antsharwood an example of how much we need feminism in our society. A man who kills his woman and is treat as a celebrate. No excuses.— Karen (@KarenClaudino_) 16 de março de 2017
But it's not just campaigners for women's rights who are angry over this case. Across Brazil, the mood is a mixture of anger and disbelief. Meanwhile de Souza refuses to comment, even as sponsors are abandoning Boa Esporte.
For now, de Souza remains on the books of Boa Esporte. The ultimate irony? The club's name translates as "Good Sport".
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