Brazilian volleyball player apologizes for Instagram poll about shooting President Lula
Brazilian national volleyball player apologizes for Instagram post posing with a GUN and asking fans if they would shoot President Lula in the face
- Brazilian volleyball player Wallace Leandro posted a social media post Monday about shooting President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
- Leandro had a Q&A session with followers and one asked if he would shoot Lula with a gun he was pictured with previously
- He apologized Tuesday, saying, ‘Anyone who knows me knows that I would never incite violence under any circumstances, especially towards our President’
A volleyball player who once represented Brazil on the international stage is now apologizing for a bizarre social media poll asking followers if someone would shoot President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the face.
Wallace Leandro, who plays for Sada Cruzeiro Volei in the Brazilian Volleyball Super League, held a Q&A session Monday with followers and shared a question from one who asked, ‘Would you shoot Lula in the face with that 12 (mm handgun)?’
Leandro, who had previously shared a picture of himself holding a gun on his Instagram Story, proceeded to repost the follower’s question and also started a poll in which he asked fans, ‘Would someone do that.’
The poll showed that 54% of his followers voted yes while 46% were completely against such violent act.
Wallace Leandro uploaded a photo of himself on Instagram with a gun Monday shortly before a follower asked if he would use it to shoot Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Leandro, who has played on Brazil’s national volleyball team, then posted a poll on the social media outlet in which he asked his followers, ‘Would someone do that’
Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has not publicly addressed the controversial social media post made by volleyball player Wallace Leandro
The shocking post was deleted from Instagram several hours after it went viral.
On Tuesday afternoon, was back on his social media platform, seeking forgiveness from his 353,000 followers and President Lula.
‘Anyone who knows me knows that I would never incite violence under any circumstances, especially towards our President,’ Leandro said in Portuguese. ‘So, I come here to apologize, it was an unfortunate post that I ended up making. I made a mistake.’
While President Lula did not publicly address Leandro’s post, Paolo Pimenta, the minister for the Social Communication Secretariat, petitioned to the Attorney General’s Office to look into Leandro, who voted for former far-right President Jair Bolsonaro in the 2022 election.
Leandro’s social media followers include Bolsonaro and his sons, Eduardo and Flávio.
Following President Lula’s runoff victory in October, the volleyball player posted a photo of Lula on social media that said ‘crime in Brazil pays’ and added the caption, ‘Brazil is really not for amateurs. Ps: enjoy now before censorship starts.’
Wallace Leandro represent Brazil at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and is currently playing for Sada Cruzeiro Volei in the Brazilian Volleyball Super League
Wallace Leandro shared a question from an Instagram follower who asked, ‘Would you shoot Lula in the face with that 12 (mm handgun)?’ Leandro proceeded to repost the follower’s question and also started a poll in which he asked fans, ‘Would someone do that’
‘I have already contacted the (Attorney General’s Office) and we will take all necessary measures,’ Pimenta said. ‘We will not tolerate threats made by extremists and scammers!’
The Brazilian Volleyball Federation condemned Leandro’s behavior and said it ‘repudiates any type of violence or incitement to violent acts, and understands that sport is a tool for propagating values such as respect, tolerance and equality.’
Sada Cruzeiro Volei also issued a statement and apologized for Leandro’s social media posts, but stopped short of announcing any punishment.
‘Social networks can seem like a space in which everything is free, without much evaluation of the possibilities of interpretation, and this is a huge trap,’ the club said. ‘We will reinforce with all our staff, athletes and coaching staff about the importance of responsibility in the use of digital media. We emphasize, mainly, that violence should never be exalted or encouraged …’