FORTALEZA, Brazil (AP) — Soccer great Pele says he supports the Brazilian protests sweeping the country as long as they're peaceful.
Pele has being criticized online for telling Brazilians to forget about the protests and focus on cheering on the national team in the upcoming Confederation Cup.
Pele said in a television interview the country should only "think about the national team," prompting Brazilians to flood social media sites to mock his comments.
Pele had expressed support for the nationwide protests in the same interview, but only the part in which he told Brazilians to "forget about this mess that is happening in Brazil" went viral.
He later released a statement reiterating his support of the protests for better public services, as long as they're non-violent demonstrations.