The administration department for Brazil's Atletico-Mineiro football team released a public statement and video on social media websites denouncing a group of their fans that repeated homophobic chants at rival fans on Sunday. Brazilian presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, was also mentioned in the chants directed at opposing supporters for the Cruzeiro football team.
"Oh, Cruzeiro supporters, be careful: Bolsonaro will kill sissies!" a group of Atletico-Minerio supporters shouted in chorus during the interval between the two teams at Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais.
"Atletico-MG profoundly laments the homophobic outbursts displayed by a segment of our fans," the document reads. "We reiterate our disapproval towards any acts of bias or incitement to violence. The largest fan base in Minas is comprised of people of all social classes, races and genders, which doesn't permit any type of discrimination."
Atletico-Mineiro fans responded in favor of the official statement put out by the team. Galo Queer, the LGBT segment of the team's fan base, also noted that such homophobic chants, "directly encourage the murder of gay people. Article 13 of the Fan Statute guarantees that no acts of violence should be encouraged in the stadium...much less discriminatory, racists, or xenophobic chants."
Sports journalist Andre Rizek, of SporTV, said, "homophobia can't be allowed by anyone with an ounce of character."
Brazil has one of the highest murder rates of members of the LBGT community in the world.
Earlier this year, the Grupo Gay da Bahia (GGB) released a report revealing that anti-LGBT crimes had increased in 10 Latin American countries, with Brazil heading the list with 958 killed in the past three years —half of them in 2017.
In 2016, 343 people were killed in crimes linked to their sexual or gender orientations, according to the GGB.