Soccer Fan Clubs Take Aim at Brazil's Front-Runner Bolsonaro

(Bloomberg) -- Fans from Brazil’s leading soccer clubs are speaking out against Jair Bolsonaro, the tough-talking former Army captain who leads opinion polls for the presidential race in October.

Supporters of Sao Paulo’s Palmeiras club, which Bolsonaro himself roots for, became the latest to speak out against the right-wing legislator who frequently blasts minorities, denies Brazil’s military rule was a dictatorship, and whose proposals include arming the population to fight violence. "We can’t tolerate threats to democratic institutions and opinions that are racist, xenophobic, sexist and homophobic," they said.

In Rio de Janeiro, fans of the Flamengo team recalled Brazil’s military dictatorship and urged resistance in a statement issued with the #NotHim hashtag of a social media campaign against the former paratrooper. Porto Alegre’s Internacional, one of the first clubs to promote professional black players, said it would be incoherent for its fans to support a candidate involved in multiple racist incidents.

The unprecedented political manifesto in this soccer-crazed nation underscores how emotions are running high in the most hotly-contested race since Brazil’s return to democracy three decades ago.

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