Last Updated on November 14, 2022
As protests against Brazil’s recent presidential election continue through their 13th consecutive day, a number of high-profile Brazilian martial artists and soccer stars have stood by the nation’s current president, Jair Bolsonaro. Protests have persisted in the nation’s largest cities, particularly outside military installations, asking for intervention against claims of fraud.
Late last month, Brazil’s leftist former president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva — who was previously jailed for corruption — narrowly pulled ahead of Bolsonaro in an election that included millions of “invalid” ballots cast.
While Bolsonaro has not officially conceded, he has stated that he will follow the nation’s constitution. Millions of Brazilians have taken to the streets in protest of the election, however, and have persisted for 13 straight days.
In response to the large-scale protests and growing number of questions surrounding the election, social media giants have removed any posts that raise questions. YouTube told Fox News that it has expanded its “existing election integrity policy to prohibit content advancing false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches occurred in the 2022 Brazil president election.”
Alexandre de Moraes, the president of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) warned that protests and “anti-democratic acts” that question the election results “will be fought with the law,” adding that those responsible will be treated “as criminals.”
“The elections are over, the second round ended democratically. The TSE proclaimed the winner and he will take office on January 1, 2023. That is democracy, that is alternation of power, that is republican state,” De Moraes said during a Supreme Court session on Thursday. De Moraes — a Lula ally — also serves as a Magistrate on the Supreme Court in addition to his role as president of the TSE.
“There is no need to contest a democratic result with illicit, anti-democratic, criminal movements, which will be fought and those responsible punished with the law. Democracy won again in Brazil”, he said.
Despite threats “We hope the army will intervene in this situation, we know that those elections were fraudulent,” Reinaldo da Silva, 65, a retired government worker who attended a protest outside a São Paulo army barracks said at a demonstration last week.
Brazil’s Vice President, General Hamilton Mourão, has called on citizens to “courageously resist” the forces of communism and the “cowardly weapon” of censorship. “Today, in Brazil, we live in decisive times,” Mourão tweeted on November 8. “We see those who intend power (Lula and his PT Workers’ Party) invoking order, but when they were in opposition they spoke about freedom,” the General went on, before calling for nationwide resistance to Lula and his left-wing agenda.
One former MMA fighter, Eduardo Guedes, told National File that he agrees with Mourão’s sentiment. “It seems clear that the Brazilian army and the people’s general, his excellency General Hamilton Mourao, is going to stand with well-intentioned, honorable, Brazilian patriots for freedom, free speech, free elections and our inalienable human rights,” Guedes said.
“The UFC and Brazilian MMA community also stands in the same way. We are ready, and we will not back down in Brasilia.”
Brazilian national Muay Thai champion Lucas Carneiro echoed Guedes’ sentiment. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,” Carneiro told National File. “My friends and I are en-route to Brasilia for a peaceful demonstration, to have our voices heard.”
Bolsonaro has found support from a number of the nation’s past and present UFC superstars, including Anderson Silva, Jose Aldo, Wanderlei Silva, and Paulo Costa, among many others. “The communism is winning fake elections in Brazil,” Costa wrote in a tweet on October 2. “I’m so sorry for my dogs who will become dinner now,” he continued, making a reference to frequent food shortages that accompany the implementation of communism.
Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior — one of the world’s most famous athletes who is commonly referred to by “Neymar” — staunchly backed Bolsonaro in the lead-up to the election.
“People know what is best for our Brazil,” said the Paris Saint-Germain superstar said at a Bolsonaro rally shortly before the nation’s run-off election last month.
Neymar, 30, has stated that Bolsonaro’s values are in line with his own and those of his family. “I realized that I need this strength, I know that it would help many people,” the soccer superstar said.
In response, Lula has hinted at reinvestigating the soccer star over recently dismissed financial crime charges that one prosecutor described as over the top to ESPN. “I think he’s afraid that if I win the election, he’ll find out that Bolsonaro let him off for his income tax debt. I think that’s why he’s afraid of me,” Lula said.
He then went on to accuse Neymar of negotiating an illegal deal with Bolsonaro in order to cheat taxes and save money. “Obviously, Bolsonaro made a deal with (Neymar’s) father. He now has an income tax problem in Spain,” Lula said.
Speaking in reference to the World Cup in Qatar at the end of the year, Neymar said. “Everything would be wonderful: Bolsonaro re-elected, Brazil champion, and everyone happy.”
Lucas Carneiro echoed Neymar’s sentiment on representing Brazil on the national level in order to call attention to the alleged fraud. “At the moment I’m preparing for next year to go to the world championship in Thailand. I will fight in my land and represent Brazil in the realm of Muay Thai.
Carneiro and Guedes have counted themselves in for what is shaping up to be the largest rally yet later this week.
Stay connected with National File for any updates.