Local police in SÃ£o PauloÂ halted a WWE event after Chris JerichoÂ threw a Brazilian flag to the ground and kicked it out of the ring during a match against CM Punk, seemingly without knowing that desecrating the flag is not just rude but illegal in Brazil. Jericho, reportedly given a choice between an impromptu public apology and an all-inclusive trip in one of SÃ£o Paulo’s renowned jail cells, went with Door Number One and gave a genuine mea culpa to the crowd. With that behind them, Punk and Jericho awkwardly reset and finished the match (Punk won).
In full ass-covering mode WWE quickly issued an official announcement of Jericho’s suspension: “Chris Jericho has been suspendedÂ indefinitely due to an irresponsible act of denigrating the Brazilian flag at a WWE live event in SÃ£o Paulo on May 24. WWE has apologized to the citizens and the government of Brazil for this incident.”
WWE.com later confirmed the suspension would be for 30 days.
Retired WWE star John “Bradshaw” Layfield, who infamously learned that Nazi-style goose-stepping for cheap crowd heat in Germany was not conducive to holding onto hisÂ side-jobÂ in financial TV, posted thoughts on the Jericho incident on Facebook. “Times change and for the better,” said Layfield. “Chris did what a ton of older heels would have done and he reacted. He is being punished and he apologized. He is one of all time greats and a great friend, old habits are hard to change but we must.”
Chael Sonnen, whose scheduled Middleweight Championship rematch against Anderson Silva was moved from UFC 147 in Belo Horizonte to UFC 148 in Las Vegas after security concerns stemming from Sonnen antagonizing the Brazilian public every time he’s been near a keyboard or microphone over the last year, issued his own statement.
PHOTO CREDIT – WWE