Death Threats Sent To Drummer Chad Smith
The drummer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers has been sent death threats after he was filmed pretending to wipe his backside on the shirt of Clube de Regatas do Flamengo – the most followed football team in the world.
Chad Smith was forced to make a grovelling apology after the gesture, which has sparked outrage among some of the Rio club’s 33 million fanatic followers.
Flamengo, whose famous past players include Zico and Ronaldinho are known for their intense fans, called the ‘Nação Rubro-Negra’, which means the ‘red and black nation’.
They adopted the name because their number of supporters is greater than the population of some small countries.
Smith, who is currently on tour with the American band, was at an event for fans in the Hard Rock Café in Belo Horizonte the capital of the south eastern state of Minas Gerais, where the local football team are Flamengo’s great rivals Curzeiro.
He was conducting a drum clinic when a member of the crowd threw the black and white Flamengo shirt onto the stage to mixed reaction of boos and cheers.
Smith decided to side with the local fans who were jeering and stuffed the jersey down the back of his jeans.
The mood swiftly turns ugly with deafening jeers as many react in disbelief to his actions. To make matters worse, Smith then throws the t-shirt on to the floor.
Objects thrown by the crowd narrowly miss his head and people can be heard screaming abuse and shouting ‘shameful’ and ‘apologise’.
After the footage was posted online, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter erupted with death threats and abusive messages.
One YouTube post from an Arthur Candeia warned: ‘You’ve made enemies of 40 million fans in one minute…you’ve put your life at risk.’
Lucas Soares added: ‘Will arrive in Rio de Janeiro you will die m***********, f*** you! (sic) Vai vim aqui pro Rio tu vai morrer!!!! (When you come here in Rio you will die!!!)’
Smith received the same level of abuse on Facebook from Flamengo fans, so incensed by his actions they didn’t care that their profiles could easily be identified.
Diogo Xerém threatened to throw a grenade at Smith and warned in slang ‘tá fudido’ which means ‘If I get hold of you, you’re ******.’
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are in Brazil for three shows, Belo Horizonte, Sao Paulo and tonight in Rio de Janeiro.
Just hours after the video went up, Smith apologised for provoking fans on the band’s official Facebook page and on his Twitter feed.
He said: ‘I want to apologize for my inappropriate antics at the drum clinic, my joke about team rivalries went too far. Flamengo fans…I’m sorry.
Smith’s message was accompanied by pictures of him wearing the Flamengo shirt signing autographs and posing with the band’s supporters.