The violent protests that started in Brasilia with the opening game of the FIFA Confederations Cup have turned into the most significant in Brazil since the end of its military dictatorship in 1985. As nearly 240,000 people marched on ten Brazilian cities on Monday, the movement gained some important allies, according to the Associated Press: namely, the Brazil national team.
While the Selecao was advised not to comment on the protests, which stem in part from the use of government funds to build massive stadiums for next summer’s World Cup instead of improving things like infrastructure and education, it has become unavoidable.
As Zenit St Petersburg striker Hulk said, “After seeing the people on the streets claiming for improvements, it makes me feel like joining them. They are doing the right thing, what they are saying makes sense and we have to hear them. Brazil needs to improve, we all know that.”
“The people have the right to express their opinions and to protest when they are not happy with what is happening in their country. That’s the only way to call attention to what is wrong,” said Chelsea defender David Luiz. “I don’t live in Brazil but I love my country. The Brazilians love their country and that’s why these protests are happening ... the only thing we won’t support is violence.”