On Thursday night, a WWE event held in Brazil ended abruptly because local law enforcement officers shut down the live match. The officers also threatened to arrest WWE star Chris Jericho because he supposedly desecrated the Brazilian flag. The match featured C.M. Punk and Jericho with Punk proudly displaying and waving the Brazilian flag in the wrestling ring. Jericho decided to take the flag from Punk, rolled it in a ball and then kicked it out of the wrestling ring. When this occurred, police officers intervened and halted the match and the entire event.
Jericho was told by police that desecrating the Brazilian flag is a crime punishable by a stint in prison. The police gave Jericho two options; go to jail or apologize to the crowd. Jericho chose to apologize to the crowd, getting on the microphone telling everyone that he regretted his actions. Once he apologized for his actions, the police permitted the event to begin once again. According to sources, the flag desecration stunt was not approved or planned by the WWE.
An official statement was released by the WWE that reads as follows:
“Chris Jericho has been suspended indefinitely due to an irresponsible act of denigrating the Brazilian flag at a WWE event in Sao Paulo on May 24. The WWE has apologized to the citizens and the government of Brazil for this incident.”
Jericho tweeted late Thursday night about the flag incident: “Just for the record I love Brazil and wish we could’ve spent more time here. Beautiful country!”