Why Brazilian Footballers are Talking About Politics

Why Brazilian Footballers are Talking About Politics


When Brazil captain Sócrates led Corinthians
to the 1983 Sao Paulo state title, two years before the
end of the country’s military dictatorship, they celebrated by parading with a banner
that read: “Win or lose, but always with democracy.” Fast
forward 35 years and the political discourse in Brazil was
very different. Last September, Felipe Melo dedicated his
goal for Palmeiras against Bahia to far-right presidential
candidate Jair Bolsonaro. A month later, Bolsonaro won the election with 55 per cent of the vote.
A cheerleader for the dictatorship, the former
army captain dedicated his vote in the 2016 impeachment of president Dilma Rousseff to
a colonel who headed a torture unit that brutalised Rousseff and other captured leftists in the
1970s. Bolsonaro’s only criticism of the 1964-85 regime
was that it did not kill enough people. But Melo is far from alone among footballers
in his admiration for the new president. Tottenham’s Lucas Moura has defended Bolsonaro on Twitter,
retired legends Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Kaká and
Cafu have joined the chorus, while Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Alisson have “liked”
pro-Bolsonaro social media posts.
For prominent Brazilian sports columnist Juca Kfouri, none of this is surprising. “In
Brazil top sportsmen who have become rich worry only
about the safety of their cars, their houses, their
families, and are very much affected by discussions about security, and also by macho discourse
– everything that Bolsonaro did during his campaign.”
There have been critics of Bolsonaro in Brazilian football, the most notable being former Lyon
and Vasco da Gama midfielder Juninho Pernambucano,
who shone a light on how the new president has
divided the public – and even families – across Brazil. “Bolsonaro has showed us that those
who sit to eat with us are closet fascists… it could
be any relative, or a friend. Reactionaries will not be
welcome in my house.” For Mauricio Murad, head of the Sociology
of Football Centre at Rio de Janeiro State University,
the fact that footballers are expressing social opinions at all is progress. “This is very
rare in Brazil, sadly,” he says. “I believe the players
should reveal their positions on our social, political, economic
and cultural questions more often, because they are so problematic and so much in need
of solutions.”
Bolsonaro has presented himself as the solution: a political outsider determined to end the
corruption of a liberal elite that, he believes, wasted public money on social programmes and
afforded undue human rights to criminals. But he does not seem intent on confronting
one of the biggest symbols of corruption in Brazil: the
Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF). In December
he accepted its invitation to present Palmeiras with the championship trophy, putting on the
club’s shirt and grinning as he received a salute
from Melo. Team-mate Willian Bigode appeared to pass
on shaking Bolsonaro’s hand, although he later claimed not to have seen the president-elect
in front of him.
Folha de S.Paulo reported that the event was part of a charm offensive by the CBF, whose
last three presidents have been accused by the FBI of
accepting bribes, to protect itself by forging closer links
with the new government. Bolsonaro was warmly greeted by Palmeiras
coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, who saluted and embraced
him. National team coach Tite seemed unimpressed. Asked a few days later if he would take his
players to meet Bolsonaro before this year’s Copa América, Tite (“Chi – Chey”) said
no, explaining that he preferred not to mix sport with politics
but referring to “a series of ethics and morals”.
Bolsonaro drew boos from some sections of the crowd, although these were just about
drowned out by cheers. Such scenes have been witnessed
at other matches, sometimes even among supporters of
the same club. While some Atlético Mineiro fans have chanted homophobic slurs in support
of Bolsonaro, the leader of the biggest Corinthians
supporters’ group, Gavioes da Fiel, warned members who backed Bolsonaro, who “goes
against all of our ideals”, to reconsider their
membership. Sixty-nine fan groups backed Bolsonaro’s election rival, Fernando Haddad.
The clubs may have something greater to fear. As part of his crackdown on public spending,
Bolsonaro has pledged to re-evaluate all sponsorship deals signed by Caixa Economica Federal, a
government-owned bank that backed 25 teams in the top two divisions last year.
But with Bolsonaro pushing ahead with election promises, such as loosening gun laws in a
country already traumatised by violence, Brazilians
have more to worry about than football club finances. What would Sócrates make of it all? “He
would be horrified and he would be speaking out and
fighting,” said Kfouri.

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100 thoughts on “Why Brazilian Footballers are Talking About Politics

  1. Hey guys, a viewer from brazil here! Thank you so much for this video, it means a lot for us! The last part, about Socrates, is amazing.

  2. Any piece on politics that uses the term "phobic" loses all claim to being serious before it starts. Everyone is entitled to their prejudices, its the price of being a free and democratic society (which incidentally the UK is very from from being anyway and moving further away every day), and to describe them as being a "phobia" is ignorance (or laziness) of monumental proportions.

    A peach of an example is Islamophobia in the UK. How its possible to be described as Islamophobic in the country people like Joe Devine live when we had a long history of moving towards being a secular country only to have a government, with absolutely no claim to legitimacy (having surreptitiously and illegally divesting itself of the authority it had been granted by its employers to govern to a foreign power) also importing a vast number of an alien religious faith (and one that is totally opposed to the separation of church and state) without any authority to do so.

    If Tifo wants to talk about corruption, illegal forms of government and the absolute denial of any democratic principles by politicians who are quite willing to deliver death on a colossal scale when it suits its own narrow interests it need look no further than Westminster. A more murderously criminal group of politicians would be hard to find anywhere on this planet.

    I agree with one of the Brazilian managers about not mixing sport and politics. It just makes the sportspeople and those who comment on it look really stupid.

  3. Thanks for sharing this. History is supposed to be the thing that helps us learn from our mistakes from the past to build a better future. We must not forget it and repeat the same mistakes again.

  4. It’s impressive how much complete and accurate this article is. You have even mentioned the Atletico-MG chants, and also took words from Juninho, Kfouri, Socrates and even a researcher in UERJ. Most of our people is pro-bolsonaro populism nowadays, except people who were positively affected by social policies from 2002 to 2016, and also who sees how homophobic and misogynistic is this man. Congratulations for your work.

  5. Leftist propaganda, without a trace of impartiality.

    Many of those players cited in the video, such as Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Lucas Moura and others, came from the favelas, unlike some sports journalists like the juca kfouri who is reportedly socialist.

    And CBF is private and more Bolsonaro was elected in 2018 in the last 16 years we had a left-wing government and no president did anything, a fact that was not quoted.

    And do you really think it's a priority for a public bank to spend more than $ 60 million a year in football sponsorship while a small business can not get credit at that bank?

  6. Maybe you should not mix politics and football like that?

    Much less when you are not impartial and do not know 1% of the political history of my country.

    And worse when its source is a socialist / communist, like juca kfouri.

  7. Tifo, I’m a libertarian from Brazil, neither leftist or rightist, and I would like you to read this, because you just did a very partial video! First of all, it’s important to know that Leftists in Brazil are VERY radical and they were on command for the last 20 years! They helped Brazil to get out of a military dictatorship, but also did an alt-left terrible government! They increased deficits, unemployment, and made Brazil a chaos! Don’t think I support right party’s because of that, I admire social progress and economic freedom, but Bolsonaro is a reaction to all of that! He did said some dreadful stuff along the wa, and he is very far to be the best person for the chair, but compared to a Communist like Haddad he was the “least worse” one. PEOPLE WERE AFRAID OF BECOMING A VENEZUELA, AND THAT’S WHY SO MANY ELECTED BOLSONARO, HE IS A BAD CANDIDATE BUT NOTHING COMPARED TO A PIG LIKE HADDAD! That’s why so many players supported him. If I were you I would search for more information that does not come from leftists or rightist and get to a better conclusion! Your video is a complete distortion of the facts man, sorry to say that. It would be awesome if you do another video saying things correctly! You do a great job on footbal, and tou can also do it mixing with politics, just put some more effort!

  8. All the black Brazilian players who support Jair are so ignorant. The poor black population will suffer most under his rule. But I guess Neymar, Jesus and Ronaldinho only care about their wealth

  9. Absolutely biased. You only got your information from one side, mate. And seems like there's no comments criticizing your views as well, which is kinda suspect. I like your videos, but I have to say you really failed to see the bigger picture in this one.

  10. The footballers that support Bolsonaro are only worrying about their own capital. Obviously they are living outside of Brazil or away from the working class. Football is a working class sport and always will be. Fuck you fascists. This is an excellent video and excellent channel.

  11. Why are you deleting comments of Brazilians when you're the one talking nonsense biased trash about my country?

    *at least you got the Corinthian's logo right this time

  12. I always forget that white European males are raised to be emasculated and to become cucks, giving their wife's, sisters and daughters to Islamic rapists that will soon take over their country.

    With that said, I couldn't expect a worse leftist video.

  13. A great channel! Amazing that such a wide array of societal topics can be explored through and are pertinent to football! Keep it up lads 👍

  14. Violence in the United States has been going down since 1993, yet gun ownership has been going up. Don’t imply guns lead to more violence. They protect people.

  15. Very fair reporting , better than all the news outlets , tho the losseing of gun laws will help Brazil , all car jacking videos i see are in brazil

  16. Amazing video, Tifo. Congratulations for the courage to post something against our President, who is beloved by many — as every other far-right populist who ever rose to power. As part of the democratic oposition of Brazil, it makes me glad that international public opinion is still lucid and aware of the danger this man represents to human rights.

  17. It takes a REALLY bad opposite side for Brazil to vote for Bolsonaro. Imagine how SCREWED UP the country was (and still is) due to the stealing red gang in power for the last 15 years.

  18. Something you guys must understand is that Bolsonaro's polemical remarks are always half joking, and nobody in Brazil takes his thought seriously. When read by a foreigner he might be considered quasi monstruous in comparison with the stealing red gang in power for the last 15 years, but this is generally a false impression.

  19. informative just like the erdogan video but i would prefer if the you stick to team player and tactics videos tbh…
    there are thousands of politics channels in youtube … i know that politics are the new "trend" but there are few channels that do your thing …
    i come here because i need some safe space from politics to be fair even if politics and football often mix …

  20. I loved in Brazil between 2015 till 2017… The people got tired of their political party. The Worker's Party (Democratic Socialist) this is the 1st time Brazil has elected a right wing

  21. I had no idea this channel leaned left politically, or at all, I was expecting football content… I am also surprised to see that so many football fans are left wing, which makes very little sense!

    I'm sorry for Juninho to find out he has "fascists" in his family (people who don't vote left) but we can't all just eat the shit sandwich the mainstream feeds us and pretend we like it just to protect your feelings!

  22. Leftist shit even in football..
    After years of this Chanel shitting on Arabian gulf countries now it's time for Brazil and how trump fucking football

  23. Funny how you guys said nothing about the former leftist government corruption and spending billions on the world cup nd Olympics, then deserting the favelas when all the tourists left. Ohhhh nooo, now a right wing guy gets elected by the Brazilian ppl and you euro soyboys have something to say. OHH NOO, regular non criminal citizens will be allowed to own a gun and protect themselves from the thousands of murders and theifs who btw own guns illegally THE HORROR. Please, give me a break with your left wing propaganda bs

  24. Quite interesting to see so many big time footballers to come out in support of a politician on the right usually it's the political left that get a lot of support from the celebrity class.

  25. Bolsonaro's a great chance for Brazil. And most of top brazilian football icons think the same. Only dumbass socialists start their old play with "fascists" and "nazis", dividing people even further by putting stamps on each other.

  26. Juca kfouri is the shittiest sports journalist in Brazil… he's a guy that never learnt what impartial means…
    Juca and juninho are two dumbass marxists .
    Juninho was fired as a football comentarist because he only talked shit on tv.

    CBF is a very corrupt entity but it is a private entity not a public one… the brazilian gorvenment can't do anything, otherwise FIFA can exclude brazilian teams from international competitions.

    And Tite, the hypocrite, now is against mixing football with politics because now we have a right government… when the gorvenment was from left, he celebrated titles with leftist politics.

  27. Lol at the shills for Bolsonaro in the comments section. If you're a Brazilian on YouTube who speaks perfect English, you're more than likely not representative of the majority who will suffer under his rule, and are instead of the minority who will profit from the regime.

  28. Sport + Politic is always wrong. We have enough toxic politic and politician in today world. Let’s sport on it own.

  29. I don't like that you've so obviously picked a side. I really wish you'd have researched more and gone into the nuances. This video seems very half baked. It's almost as if you like to think right wing = automatically bad and left wing = automatically good. Footballers aren't dumb. They aren't as simple as that wanker said, that they only care about their and their assets' safety. There's probably more to this than you've put in this video.

  30. Love the channel, but this was a terribly biased video because it lacks a lot of context. The brazilian left wing's policies destroyed our economy. All-time high levels of violence, crime, unemployment, poverty, corruption, when we should have progressed as a country. This is why a strong anti-left wing sentiment grew, leading a very right wing president to get elected. Bolsonaro is far from ideal and he does have some messed up views, but I would have taken ANYTHING over another left-wing president. I'd rather have a 5-year old in presidency then another left-winger.

  31. Tifo, please stop using that wrong Corinthians badge. I love your videos but that mistake is really annoying

  32. Biased video, completely ignored the reason why those players support Bolsonaro. Juninho is a hipocrite, and Socrates' quote is out of context. Also completely ignored that "Corinthians" recieved a lot of money during Lula's government from CBF.

  33. Hello

    Bolsonaro is the consequence.. not the cause.

    Brazil is a democracy and changes in the political guidelines of governments are normal and necessary

    We came from 21 years of leftist administrations.. I

    If Fernando Henrique, Lula and Dilma had done the homeork good.. Improving the living conditions of the Brazilian and modernizing the country.. Today we are not talking about Bolsonaro

    What we have after these 24 years a world cup and an olympics ??? A country with the economy almost broken, and the biggest corruption scandal in history that culminated in the arrest of Lula.

    People only got tired of the populism and corruption of Lula and the workers' party and gave themselves a chance to change

    Your analysis is great.. i love this channel.. But in this specific case it is a bit out of context

    my 2c

  34. The side that Juninho, Juca, Tite are suporters is very corrupt, they were putting Brazil in a big crisis. Dilma Roussef was a terrorist she robbed a bank when she was young, this fact wasn't mentioned in this video.

  35. The video speaks for itself I wish I had a comment to make on it but all the content is accurate and unbiased.

  36. You know a lot about football… but your vision on Brazilian politics is pathetic and absurd and you shouldn't be talking about something you don't have any idea about.

    – Dilma Roussef was a terrorist in the 70s, not just a leftist
    – The Stadium of corinthians and "Gavioes da Fiel" costed 1.4 Billion that came from taxpayers money while a lot other stadiums in Brazil, like Palmeiras' Allianz Arena, was built by private contractors and costed about 600 million
    – There was a referend in 2005 asking about disarmament and people vote against it, but only now it was recognized by the president

    The president despite of the initial problems is very strong agains corruption and supporting all the major reforms that the country needs. So stop talking BULSHIT in football videos… This attempt of Brainwash from the left in Brazil is not going to work anymore.

    And Socrates was in favour of the democracy, if you stupid idiots look closely to Brazil's politics, the previous left presidents were trying to perpetuate themselves in power in the most anti-democratic way, by corruption.

    A video with a very distorted reality from Brazil, coming from a person who lives in Brazil.

    Come to Brazil and try to ask the opinion of people on the streets and you will understand what 16 years of corruption did to a population.

  37. well brazil is the future of europe. to much crime, political corectnes, destruction of industry. dont worry the next bolsonaro may be in your country!

  38. Just to mention, the average football player in Brazil has severe limitations in acquiring a good education. They are mostly from poor families who put their children in public schools with a lack of good teaches, if they are able to be in one. Rare are the ones who escape from this destiny. Sócrates was studing medicine when he became a professional player. Tostão got a degree in medicine after retiring from football. Juninho Pernambucano came from a wealthy family of Recife, studying in rich schools during his youth. The same goes for Leonardo which once managed Milan.

  39. Spanish clubs and players are also very political. I like it. Footballers are humans and have a lot of influence on the people.

  40. Nice Video,
    If you can't see Football and politics together, sorry, but you don't like football. Nice video Tifo.

    Viva a festa da bancada!

  41. Brazil has one of the aorst murder rates in the world and some rather strict gun laws. Its almost like gun laws dont affect violent crime…

  42. Lmao this is the most bias video I've seen in a long time…even considering the CNN stuff I've seen. Did you mention how all 3 of the previous presidents were of the same party and all 3 were convicted of corruption?

    But no, let's just keep voting them in.

  43. You guys are the best football channel on YouTube.

    I just wanna add that Torcida Jovem, Santos' biggest supporters group, backed Corinthians' Gaviões da Fiel and declared opposition to Bolsonaro as well.

  44. Its not so simple as you explained… they dont voted in Bolsonaro because of “far right” or fascism, they voted trying to stop the violence and thinking that our economy will grow with bolsonaro. PT had the power since 2002 and Brazil was in a complete caos, they just wanted to change this. Obviously, Bolsonaro is a fool, a real garbage, but he was the most stronger against PT (left wing).

  45. Great video, very explanatory. It is very kind of you to present your viewers to the reality behind the football glamour.

  46. Kfouri is a clown, he lives in another world and has never experienced what This players have. He is a self proclaimed communist and believes in an utopia, he doesn't awful legacy that former liberal gouvernements left. The liberal elite in Brazil is imoral and has always covered up for the gruesome coruption scandals and violence which are main problems in Brazilian society. Kfouri and Juninho are a part of this cocky leftist elite and they should not be taken seriously, most of our country desagre with him.

    Bolsonaro was elected because he represents the hard working, christian and football loving Brazilian population, just like does Melo and all the other players.

  47. Brazil is on the middle of a moral and ethic crisis, it was just beautiful how you managed to do a video mixing sport and politics, thank you for that, just won a brazilian subscriber ( :

  48. This was an important and powerful video. I'm sure you knew the comments would become a battle zone, as nationalists pour in to defend their heroes. I admire your willingness to create the video anyway, and share this information.

    If you look at the state of the world today, the rise of fascist/populist movements, and can't risk a little blowback from your fans… then you're not willing to do anything. Thank you so much for being willing to do something.

  49. As balanced in your opinions as ever tifo 😂😂😂 … Left wing bias never stops everywhere I look

  50. Bolsonaro is good for a corrupt Brazil. He won a democratic election for a reason. All the Social Justice Warriors can't help but try to create a revisionist narrative. Those who are against Bolsonaro were beneficiaries of Lavajogo and were skimmers from the public.

  51. Sorry guys, I'm from Brazil and I love your work in this channel, but that was completely one-sided, like most of the international media coverage of our 2018 elections. Right of the bat I'll say that I'm sorry Bolsonaro is our president, but not for the reasons exposed on this video. Those alarming quotes about the military regime were all from his past, when he was simply a low ranking congressist making noise on TV, and during his campaign he acknowleged that he stepped over the line. In summary, since the beginning of his campaign he posed absolutely no threat to our democracy, and that's the feeling of any non-leftist journalist in our country – unfortunately they are not the vast majority. So why I'm sorry he is the president? Because he is a populist idiot, simple as that! But I had to vote for him, because the alternative was reelect the Labour Party who ruled us for 14 years and nearly bankrupted our economy, leaving it with our worst decade in 120 years, peak unemployment, record high interests rates in 2014-2015 and of course the 2 greatest corruption scandals in our history. So the election of Bolsonaro had much more to do with the rejection for his opposition than any genuine admiration for him or his politics. But those nuances were ignored by most of the international media…
    And by the way Juca Kfouri – the prominent "sports" journalist quoted in the video – is known for his historic identification with the Labour Party and its political ideology, so he's not really the most credible source if you want a fairly balanced opinion on the matter… I'm just saying: that's more than one side to this story, ok?

  52. I like the last comment about guns. Very logical. Leftist government basically ban guns from citizens, the violence shoots up to being the most violent country in the world. Everyone can have a gun, besides people who follow the law. Bolsonaro releases most of the restrictions on gun ownership and violence goes down by a significant margin in the last 6 months? I thought regular law abiding citizens with guns where the problem. Who would've guessed that normal people don't go around killing each other.

  53. A real shame that Brazil will become another country that will suffer from the horrible illness that is right-wing politics.

  54. Shut up, son of a bitch. You don't know nothing about Brazil. I'm from Brazil and I can speak about my country. Bolsonaro is the best president in the our history. He'll change Brazil. Make a big Brazil.

  55. But you have to know that Bolsonaro doesn't mean the Dictatorship of 64. He just suported it a time, nasty comments..

  56. Usou o simbolo do Corinthians Cabeçuda de novo! Kkkkk.
    Enfim, esse vídeo foi tendencioso p caramba, n sei se é pq vc recebe essas informações já distorcidas, mas não é assim que as coisas tão funcionando aqui.

  57. Just so you guys know, Tite was on a TV show alongside the former criminal president Lula giving him his support. Tite is often a hypocrite.

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