Brazilian soccer team Boa Esporte has received backlash in the Brazilian soccer community after it signed goalkeeper Bruno Fernandes de Souza, who was recently released from prison after being sentenced in 2010 for murdering his ex-girlfriend and feeding her body to dogs.

According to CNN, Boa Esporte president Rone Moraes de Costa defended the club’s signing in two separate Facebook posts:

In a lengthy post on its Facebook page, Boa Esporte’s president, Rone Moraes da Costa, says the team isn’t committing any crimes by signing the 32-year-old who formerly played for one of Brazil’s most famous clubs — Flamengo — and was tipped to line up for the national team at the 2014 World Cup on home soil.
He could be back in action within a month and a half.
“Esporte Clube was not responsible for the release and freedom of the athlete Bruno,” da Costa said, adding that the club was “giving work to those who intend to recover.”
Bruno “deserves a new opportunity as a professional,” the team said in a separate post. “The club has no relation with Bruno’s personal actions, nor with his past, having hired only the professional.”

Clearly, this is an awful move for Boa Esporte to make, and sponsors, including main sponsor Gois & Silva Group, have already pulled their support, according to CNN.

The club’s defense of the signing is also dubious. Yes, de Souza was released from prison, but that doesn’t mean he has earned the right to represent a soccer club and its fan base and sponsors. It’s just rationalization in a sports culture that prioritizes winning over all else, even if that means signing a brutal murderer.


About Kevin Trahan

Kevin mostly covers college football and college basketball, with an emphasis on NCAA issues and other legal issues in sports. He is also an incoming law student. He's written for SB Nation, USA Today, VICE Sports, The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal, among others. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.