French rugby leaders signing a new forum

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Two days ago, Antoine Dupont and other rugby players mobilized, through a tribune co-signed by fifty athletes French, for the presidential elections, by inviting people to vote for Emmanuel Macron in the second round. This platform had caused quite a stir! Antoine Dupont had provoked the wrath of the mayor of Béziers Robert Menardbut he had also been quite criticized on social networks, with sometimes quite virulent reproaches.

But this Friday, new personalities from the French rugby world took a stand, also inviting them to vote for Emmanuel Macron on April 24. This column, published in the newspaper L’Equipe, was jointly signed by more than 200 people from many sports. As far as rugby is concerned, we find Serge Simon (vice president of the FFR), Claude Atcher (general manager of the 2023 World Cup), Pierre Rabadan (former Stade Français player and now elected mayor of Paris), Robins Tchale – Watchou (president of Provale), Yann Roubert (president of LOU Rugby) but also Julien Pierre (former international and Clermont player).

This is the forum text:

“We, presidents of federations, leaders and volunteers of associations, elected officials in charge of sports, managers and employees of sports structures or simple actors involved in the world of sport, are mobilizing against the election of Marine Le Pen and the arrival of the extreme right at the head of the country.

Their few positions on sport reveal a nationalistic and stigmatizing vision contrary to the values ​​on which our sporting commitment is based. In the Rassemblement National project, the measures for sport are focused solely on clubs “which have become veritable recruitment agencies for both religious extremism and crime.” Sports federations and clubs are warned that public authorities “must urgently regain control.” For Marine Le Pen, “the ‘Black, White, Beur’ myth that arose from the French team’s victory in 1998 has vanished.”

Committed players in the world of sport, we are proud when sport is at the service of the fight against racism; when athletes are committed to fraternity, equality between women and men or when they fight against homophobia and all forms of violence. We are proud when sport shows that it is a powerful vehicle for inclusion in our neighborhoods and our countryside; when it serves as a social elevator for young people from diverse backgrounds. We are proud when sport is the standard bearer of republican values.

Our country is preparing to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. This event represents a historic opportunity to finally give sport the place it deserves: to make sport a pillar for young people, from early childhood to university; make it truly accessible to everyone, in any part of the territory, in all ages and whatever the possibilities that existence leaves; use it even more in health policies; support a European project to preserve our sports model, our clubs and our championships; make sport a powerful engine of social inclusion and economic development.

That is why we call, in a personal capacity and beyond the diversity of convictions that we were able to express in the first round, to block the extreme right by voting for Emmanuel Macron on April 24.

To sum up

On Friday, a new column was published in the newspaper L’Equipe calling for a vote for Emmanuel Macron. Among the signatories, which are more than 200, there are six personalities from the world of rugby.
Find rugby news at Quinze Mondial.

Helen Brewer

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