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Neymar Faces Criticism For Backing Brazil President

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Neymar Jr., a top player for Brazil’s national team, received harsh criticism on Friday for publicly endorsing far-right President Jair Bolsonaro only days before a bitterly divided election.

On Thursday, the 30-year-old footballer uploaded a video of himself dancing to a Bolsonaro campaign song on TikTok. He has over eight million followers on the app.

He flashed the number 22 with his fingers, Bolsonaro’s candidacy number in the race against ex-president and leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is now in the lead.

The song references Brazil’s electronic voting machines, which the president claims are plagued by fraud without providing proof: “Vote, vote, and press ‘confirm’ for 22, that’s Bolsonaro.”

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Bolsonaro retweeted Neymar’s endorsement right away.

However, many other social media users were incense by Neymar’s misuse of his celebrity.

On Twitter, he has 58 million followers and about 180 million on Instagram.

Former Brazilian striker Walter Casagrande was one of his detractors. He said that Neymar had “exposed all his incoherence… and his lack of social understanding” in a post for UOL Esporte.

He blasted Neymar for endorsing “the most biased politician in Brazilian political history, who has made homophobic, sexist and notably racist utterances.” Neymar has previously spoken out in favor of the anti-racist movement.

“They speak about democracy and a lot of things, but when someone has a different perspective they are assault by the same people who talk about democracy,” Neymar said on Friday.

He concluded his message with emoticons for smiling and shrugging.

Along with the Brazilian flag, Bolsonaro supporters have embraced the yellow-and-green shirt of the Brazilian national team as a sign of their backing for the leader.

Both Bolsonaro and Neymar are outspeak about their Christianity.

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