+ Opinion: Maurício Souza case shows that freedom of expression is not a safe-conduct for discrimination
– Minas was not to blame for all of this. It’s the fault of the sealing team putting pressure on the sponsors. It resulted in the sponsor threatening to take away female and male sponsorship. This became unsustainable. My director, Elói (Oliveira), and my president, Ricardinho (Santiago), did their best to keep me on the team. They did the possible and the impossible. Unfortunately, the team couldn’t bear to lose so many sponsorships. And then what happened happened. But they were men. These are real men I admire. It was not their fault – says Maurício in the video.
Earlier, Maurício Souza returned to share a provocation on social networks. The central posted a photo of Superman kissing Wonder Woman. The controversy with the player began after a post in which he criticized DC Comics for the announcement that the new Superman, son of Clark Kent, will discover himself bisexual in the next editions of the comics.
Maurício Souza/Minas — Photo: Orlando Bento/Minas
In the new post, Mauricio shares the photo of the original Superman kissing Wonder Woman in a phone booth. The publication had the likes of Maurício Borges, partner of the central in the selection and who was successful at the Tokyo Olympics by being roommate of pointer Douglas Souza. Ricardinho, former national team setter, did the same.
Maurício had his contract terminated with Minas Tênis Clube last Wednesday. The decision came after the repercussion, in recent days, of postings of homophobic content made by the athlete. He even made two apologies, but stressed that it was an opinion, not homophobia. The attitude angered the club, which opted for the end of the contract.
The player had been away from club activities since Tuesday and had been fined. The actions took place after pressure from sponsors for Minas to take “appropriate measures” in relation to the central’s posts on its social network.
On Tuesday night, the athlete used a different social network to make a public retraction. The Belo Horizonte club used its own account to give more visibility to the message and considered that the requested public retraction had been carried out. However, there was dissatisfaction from one of the sponsors.
The sponsors wanted the athlete to delete the posts, in addition to apologizing in the same space that made the posts. The situation also had negative repercussions for the central teammates themselves.
About two weeks ago, DC Comics announced that the new Superman, son of Clark Kent, will discover himself bisexual in upcoming issues of the comic books. The subject, which was one of the most talked about on Twitter on the day of the disclosure, also moved the Brazilian volleyball community.
After the publication of the publisher, Maurício Souza, posted a photo of the Superman and criticized DC’s decision. Minas expressed its opinion this Monday about the player’s publication. The club said that it respected the freedom of opinion of each athlete, but that it did not accept homophobic statements.
The post received supportive comments from other volleyball athletes, such as Wallace and Sidão. The subject generated a great repercussion on social networks after internet users considered the posts as indirect among the teammates. Maurício, despite the criticism he took with his protest, continued to endorse his opinion on social media.