Three sponsors have terminated their relationship with Boa Esporte in protest at the Brazilian second division football club signing a player who murdered his girlfriend.
Bruno Fernandes de Souza, a 32-year-old goalkeeper, was convicted of ordering the murder of his former girlfriend, Eliza Samudio, in 2010.
Samudio, a 25-year-old model and the mother of Bruno’s child, was reportedly lured to Belo Horizonte in June, 2010. She was tortured, strangled, dismembered, and then fed to dogs by Bruno’s friends, according to The Guardian.
Bruno was found guilty of ordering her murder three years later in March, 2013, but the goalkeeper’s recent release sparked interest in his availability as clubs like Boa Esporte scrambled for his signature.
Boa Esporte president Rone Moraes da Costa defended the club’s decision by pointing to the “fulfillment of the law” and that they were helping Bruno return to the “dignity of work,” according to an official statement on the club’s official Facebook page.
This, though, has done little to calm an escalating backlash against the club.
Brands Nurtrends Nutrition, CardioCenter, and Magsul have all withdrawn their sponsorship of Boa Esporte, while demonstrations have been planned outside the club’s 27,000 capacity Melão stadium.
“Women and the general public are outraged,” feminist activist Djamila Ribeiro is quoted by UOL to have said. “It is as if he had gone unpunished.”
Prior to Bruno’s imprisonment he represented Atletico Mineiro, Corinthians, and Flamengo.
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