Second-division Brazilian club Boa Esporte presented goalkeeper Bruno Fernandes on Tuesday amid outrage from multiple groups.
Bruno, as he’s known, was recently released from prison where he was serving a 22-year sentence for his involvement in the 2010 murder of his ex-girlfriend, Eliza Samudio. The Supreme Court ruled that his appeal was “languishing” and granted his release while the appeal is being processed, per AP.
The signing has primarily been met with public condemnation. Several sponsors have already cut ties or have threatened to end their partnership with Boa Esporte. The team’s website was hacked to display statistics showing the epidemic of violence against women, according to Brazilian news outlet Globo Esporte.
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“People run from me because of what happened in the past,” Bruno said in a press conference on Tuesday. “Boa is opening the doors (for me). I’m very happy, motivated.”
Club president Rone Moraes da Costa defended the signing in a Facebook post, writing, “Who has never heard (it said) that work dignifies a man?”
Regardless, the move has been vilified, largely because of the grisly details that emerged during the trial. Samudio was strangled and pieces of her body were fed to dogs, according to trial documents and police reports.
At his trial, Bruno admitted to knowing what happened to Samudio, but denied ordering the killing, per the BBC.
Bruno, two men and an ex-girlfriend of Bruno were convicted in the killing, which prosecutors argued was connected to Samudio suing Bruno seeking child support. Should the higher courts reject Bruno’s appeal, he would return to prison. In the meantime, it seems he will be playing matches for Boa Esporte.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.