Flamengo forward 'Gabigol' honours Kobe Bryant with No. 24 jersey
Flamengo star Gabriel Barbosa will wear the No. 24 jersey in Monday's Brazilian Serie A game at Resende to honour Kobe Bryant, as well as protest against anti-gay behaviour and rhetoric.
The striker knows as "Gabigol," who will play for Flamengo for the first time since joining the club on a permanent transfer from Inter Milan last week, wore the No. 9 jersey while on loan at the Brazilian club in 2019, when he scored 34 goals in 43 games in all competitions.
The decision to wear the No. 24 jersey is part of a anti-gay protest for the Brazilian.
A Corinthians executive had denied recent club signing Victor Cantillo the possibility of choosing that number for a jersey, stating "24 not here" as it is a number associated in Brazil with homosexuality. Corinthians eventually reversed their decision and allowed Cantillo to play No. 24.
"Gabigol" follows other players, including Santos forward Tailson, Bahia midfielder Flavio and Fluminense winger Nene, to wear the jersey to support the fight anti-gay sentiments in their country, as well as paying tribute to NBA legend Bryant.
Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California earlier this month. Bryant was 41.