Don’t let France’s World Cup victory erase the issues affecting black French people
In past years, several players have been criticized over the fact that they did not sing the national anthem. Even if some of the white players from the younger generations, like Michel Platini or Eric Cantona, did not sing “La Marseillaise,” the same action from players of African descent was interpreted in a totally different way. Because of their origins, they were suspected of not being French enough.
From now on, France will expect that its team behaves and that its players will explicitly signal their love for France and respect for the flag and the institutions. Each time they speak in interviews, the members of the current team say “Vive la republique, vive la France!” — as if that is how to be accepted as a “good” French player.
Nobody has ever elected Les Bleus to represent #France, so why should we expect them to express themselves as politicians? My hope is that someday all of our players will be undeniably French and that no part of their ancestry will be perceived as conflicting with being French.