A (new) controversy, born on social networks?
This Tuesday, right-wing and far-right politicians, including RN number two Jordan Bardella, criticized the Blues' intention to kneel down to protest against discrimination during the Euro match against the 'Germany.
At the start of the afternoon, the #BoycottEquipeDeFrance topic was the number 1 topic on Twitter, with more than 20,000 messages.
"Will they also go down on one knee next year at the World Cup in Qatar to pay tribute to the more than 6,500 immigrant workers who died in the construction of the stadiums of shame?"
Jordan Bardella criticized on Twitter.
"Black Lives Matter is a drama (...) which happened in the United States", "with the American police", not with the French police, who "never had these abuses", affirmed on Europe 1 Thierry Mariani, RN candidate for regional Paca.
Former RN number 2 Florian Philippot described on Twitter the intention of the Blues as "shame" and the Black lives matter movement as "sponsored thing to raise tensions, break peoples, divide them, maintain them in resentment , weaken them!
At Les Républicains, the deputy Eric Ciotti called on the French team to "recall its support for our police", deploring that it did not put one knee to the ground "for the victims of Islamist terrorism or the murdered police officers. by barbarians ”.
The ex-LR Christian Estrosi, mayor of Nice, asked on Cnews to the France team "to say very clearly that it can in no way be interpreted as a gesture with regard to the magnificent action that the internal security forces are carrying out in France ”.
"This kind of symbol, it hurts nobody, but it is not what makes things happen", estimated for its part the number three of LR Aurélien Pradié on Sud Radio.
Not a first for the Blues, supported by Le Graët and Maracineanu
If some politicians have found fault with this gesture, the authorities of French football defend the strong choice of players. Invited at the microphone of RMC Sport on Tuesday, Noël Le Graët, the president of the French Football Federation (FFF) defended his group. “I find it a recognition of an injustice. That our young players become aware of these difficulties, I find it very honorable and intelligent on their part (…) As far as we are concerned, there is no problem. There could be remarks that will have to be accepted, but France is completely in solidarity with this action, ”he said.
Almost at the same time, Roxana Maracineanu, the Deputy Minister in charge of Sports, explained on LCI that “the players and the France team wish to express themselves on this subject, they have the right and I encourage them to do so.
The fight against racism and all forms of discrimination are part of the values of our Republic (…) Sport is a formidable tool to fight against discrimination ”.
Read alsoEuro 2021: the teams that put one knee to the ground before the matches are not unanimous
Especially since the players had already dropped to one knee against Wales in a preparation match a few days ago, but also in club or in previous international matches.
An image which viewers had been deprived of due to the advertising break placed between the hymns and the start of the meeting.
"If you are racist, you are against this gesture"
On the side of sports lovers and the France team, these criticisms are not welcome.
“It's very good that the Blues kneel.
It is a movement of solidarity on a planetary scale.
We do not care that the far right does not watch the match, they are tiring, ”is irritated with the Parisian Daniel Cohn-Bendit.
The former MEP, author of the book
Sous les crampons… la plage,
and a great football fan, ends with a last tackle: "If you are racist, you are against this gesture".
A position shared by Bernard Lama.
Contacted, the former goalkeeper of the France and Paris-Saint-Germain team cut short: "For me, there is not even a subject ..."
On Saturday, before their match against Russia, the players of the Belgium team did so but to the whistles of the Saint Petersburg public while the Russians remained standing.
The English were also keen to make this gesture, which has become customary in their championship (Premier League) since George Floyd, a black man, was killed by a white policeman in the United States in 2020. This Tuesday evening, we do not know still if the German team will join in the gesture of the French.