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by Shane Stokes
May 5, 2017
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Making clear their opposition to the far right candidate Marine Le Pen in relation to Sunday’s presidential election, a group of 60 French sporting personalities have inked a letter endorsing the candidature of centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron.
These personalities include the directors of the Tour de France, as well as Olympic sprinter Yannick Agnel, Olympic fencer Laura Flessel, Paris-St. Germain soccer team’s midfielder Blaise Matuidi, judo champion David Douillet, former rugby international and national team coach Philippe Saint-Andre and the directors of the national soccer league.
Le Pen is a controversial figure due to her intolerance for refuges and others, her National Front party’s xenophobic roots and general strong right wing views. Her father, former party leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, is a holocaust denier who has been convicted of racism or inciting racial hatred at least six times. He has also faced allegations of torture relating to the Algerian war.
In the letter, the sports personalities said that they wanted “to continue to be proud to represent our country,” and called for Macron’s election “so that sport remains a space of liberty, equality, and fraternity.”
Le Pen has separately been opposed by other leading French athletes, including famous soccer players Zinedine Zidane and Liliam Thuram. Macron is currently favourite to win, but French authorities are investigating allegations that Le Pen has benefited from fake news claims about her rival.
Click through to read more at Bloomberg.