La Liga

Barcelona's Post-Tax Fraud WeAreAllLeoMessi Hashtag Backfires Deliciously

We are all like that guy who committed €4.1million tax fraud, and didn't have to go to jail for it.

by Liam Daniel Pierce
11 July 2016, 9:35am

It turns out that when you try to launch a campaign to drum up sympathy for a multi-multi-multi-millionaire football supernova who's committed rampant tax evasion and avoided jail time, it's hard to get people to feel bad for you. Take Barcelona's initiative to create a #WeAreAllLeoMessi hashtag, for example.

In the wake of Leo Messi and his father's 21-month prison sentence – of which they will spend zero time in jail, due to a convenient loophole in the Spanish legal system – Barça decided to try to make their star feel a little less alone in the world. #WeAreAllLeoMessi is their way of saying, "I, regular human being, also commit €4.1million tax fraud and get favorable treatment to avoid facing full consequences." (Combined, Messi and his father do have to pay €3.5 million, though that's €0.6 million less than what they frauded.)

Here's the official statement from the club:

FC Barcelona has set up a campaign in support of Leo Messi following the sentence issued this week against the Argentinian and his father.

Using the hashtag #WeAreAllLeoMessi while posting a photo or message with both hands open, the campaign is encouraging all Barça fans to express their sympathy for the greatest footballer in the world by voicing their unconditional support on social networks.

By making it clear that #WeAreAllMessi, we want Leo to know that he is not alone. All members, supporters clubs, fans, athletes, media and everyone else are invited to participate.

So not only are Barça imploring us to stand in solidarity with criminal activity, but their language veers dangerously into co-opting the language of political prisoner protest. And Messi is no Mumia.

Needless to say, people didn't take the hashtag the right way:

Howler basically deserves their own segment for this one. They were going off:

And we'll just let Howler close this one out as well: