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   September 30, 2014



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Jericho suspended for denigrating Brazilian flag
By James Turner, QMI Agency


A Winnipeg pro wrestler's theatrics have netted him an indefinite suspension from his sport. (HANDOUT)
Chris Jericho booted from Brazil
 

A Winnipeg pro wrestler's theatrics have netted him an indefinite suspension from his sport and also triggered a speedy and grovelling apology to the Brazilian government from his employer.

World Wrestling Entertainment took the action against multi-championship winning wrestler Chris Jericho after he denigrated the Brazilian flag during a WWE Live event Thursday in São Paulo.

In an online video of what the WWE termed an "irresponsible act," Jericho is seen holding up the Brazilian flag, crumpling it into a ball, hurling it to the ground and hoofing it out of the ring just prior to a match.

Disrespecting the flag in Brazil is a federal offence in a country known for its patriotism.

"Shut your mouths," Jericho tells a throng of booing fans when given a microphone shortly after the incident.


Local law enforcement ultimately stopped the match and Jericho apologized to the crowd. He faced being locked up for the flag-kicking, according to the WWE.

"WWE has apologized to the citizens and the government of Brazil for this incident," the company said in a statement.

Jericho responded to the incident by apologizing to the crowd and the WWE audience online, saying he made "a bad judgement call."

“It was a bad move,” Jericho said in an online statement. “I did it with [our] fans’ entertainment in mind and I’ll accept the consequences for that.”

Twelve hours ago, Jericho indicated on Twitter he was headed out of the country.

"Just for the record I love Brazil and wish we could've spent more time here. Beautiful country!," he told his more than 650,000 followers.

Public reaction to the flag fracas and suspension has been swift, with many condemning the fan-favourite's punishment.

"This is pure bulls**t! Jericho doesn't deserve to be suspended," said one fan. "Wow. Thats all he did? And he got suspended for it .... what?," said another.

Others blamed Brazilian wrestling fans for being too sensitive, with one online commenter calling them "whiney little girls."

"I feel ashamed, my country does not know to differentiate fiction from reality," said one Brazilian who viewed a YouTube video of the flag-kicking.

Jericho now resides in Florida and only recently returned to the WWE fold for a second time. He also performs with his rock band, Fozzy.

He was awarded the key to the city by Mayor Sam Katz in 2004.

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