France captain Kylian Mbappe and the national football team, known as Les Bleus, have called for an end to violence and emphasized the need for “dialogue and reconstruction” amid ongoing protests in the country following the fatal police shooting of a teenager. The unrest began after Nahel M, a 17-year-old, was shot by police as he drove away from a traffic stop earlier this week.
Mbappe, who plays as a forward for Paris St-Germain and was appointed captain of the French national team in March, took to his Instagram story to express his stance. He stated, “Violence solves nothing, especially when it inevitably turns against those who are expressing it.” The 24-year-old footballer urged for “peaceful and constructive” protests, highlighting the futility of violence.
Les Bleus, speaking on behalf of the France team, echoed Mbappe’s sentiments in a statement posted on social media. They expressed shock at the tragic death of Nahel and called for an end to violence, emphasizing the need for “mourning, dialogue, and reconstruction.” The players acknowledged the expression of popular anger but emphasized that the destruction of property and neighborhoods was not a viable solution. They urged for alternative peaceful methods of expression.
Les Bleus emphasized the need for appeasement, awareness, and accountability, stating, “There are other peaceful and constructive ways of expressing ourselves. This is where our energies and our thoughts must be focused.”
Coach Didier Deschamps also expressed his support for the initiative taken by the players, welcoming their message. He acknowledged the tragic incident and extended his condolences to Nahel’s family. Deschamps shared his conviction that violence never resolves issues and expressed his hope for an improvement in the situation.
Meanwhile, as protests continue across France, Tour de France organizers have assured that they are prepared to adapt to any situation. The iconic cycling race, which starts in Bilbao, Spain on Saturday, is set to enter France on Monday. Race director Christian Prudhomme stated that they are in constant communication with state services and monitoring the evolving situation. They remain ready to adjust their plans if necessary.