Mbappé, Dembelé, Thierry Henry… French football against the extreme right

Mbappé, Dembelé, Thierry Henry… French football against the extreme right

In France, football stopped being just a sport a long time ago. Liliam Thuram, Karim Benzema, Dembelé, Kylian Mbappé… there have been many athletes who, in key socio-political situations in France, have taken a step forward.

This Sunday, after the statements of Marcus Thuram, Mbappé joined the players’ call to vote against the extremes in the next early legislative elections on June 30. “The political situation is more important than football,” said the new Real Madrid signing, and that leads him to encourage young people to vote, but also to take a stand.

“I hope that after July 7 we can continue to feel proud wearing the France jersey. (…) I would not like to represent a country that does not represent our values,” says Mbappé after being asked about the statements of his colleague Marcus Thuram, who asked clearly and forcefully not to vote for the National Group.

“The political situation is very serious. I found out the results after the match against Canada and we were all a little shocked. It is the sad reality of our society today. (…) I think we all have to go vote, tell to everyone who goes to vote. And, above all, as citizens, we must fight daily so that this does not happen again. So that the RN does not pass,” said Thuram.

Unlike his partner, Mbappé did not talk about the extreme right as such, but from the journalists’ question and the context, it was understood that he was referring to that. Although he did not clarify when speaking of “extremes” if he was referring to the entire French political spectrum or only to the extreme right. This formula of “extremes” in plural is usually used by macronismo to refer to both the French extreme right and the extreme left.

He spokesperson for the extreme right The penAndrea Kotarac, was quick to respond to the player’s statements: “His position goes against that of the FFF (…) He is not just anyone. He is asked to have a duty of reserve and he does not fulfill it. (…) With this type of position, Kylian Mbappé fractures the country and aggravates the situation,” said Kotarac. Given these statements, the president of the French Football Federation stated that “the players are free to speak.”

Thierry Henry, another legend of French football, also wanted to speak out: “I agree with everything that has been said on this issue that you know well (…) What can stop the extremes is voting. Therefore, go vote” , he added.

The young vote is very important for the French extreme right; a third of French people (33%) plan to vote for the National Regrouping list, the 30% are voters between 18 and 24 years old and 28% among those aged 25 to 34, according to Ipsos data.

Kylian Mbappé knows the relevance of the young vote for the parties and is aware of his speaker. He is followed by 118 million people from all over the world on Instagram alone, but in France he especially moves the ‘banlieue’ youth; the most disconnected from politics.

Mbappé, more than just a footballer

This is not the first time that Kylian Mbappé has spoken out on socio-political issues; he already did so a year ago with the Nahel riots, the young man from Nanterre who died after being shot by a police officer.

“I feel bad for my France. (…) An unacceptable situation.” Mbappé stated after the event. Some statements that cost him dearly, and for which he received significant criticism from the most conservative side of the country.

The young player, only 25 years old It is a state matter, or at least it is (or was) for Macron, who has tried by all means to prevent him from migrating to Real Madrid. In February 2024, when the PSG match rumors were strongest, Mbappé was one of the guests of honor at a State dinner at the Elysee Palace between the French President, Emmanuel Macron and the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

A dinner where, as a player for the French national team, only he attended, among a long list of guests, which included businessmen, Bernard Arnaud, CEO of LVMH, or Xavier Niel, majority shareholder of the French telecommunications group Iliad. Precisely, it was at that dinner where President Macron issued a warning to the player: “you are going to get us into trouble again,” he snapped at the then growing rumors of his departure to Real Madrid.

2024-06-17 15:18:10
#Mbappé #Dembelé #Thierry #Henry #French #football #extreme


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