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Death of Nahel M.: among footballers, more and more committed words

“I feel bad for my France. » The formula is followed by five broken hearts, one blue, one white and three red, then another sentence: “An unacceptable situation. All my thoughts go out to the family and loved ones of Nahel, this little angel who left far too soon. » A simple tweet, with all the weight of the captain of the French football team, Kylian Mbappé, 12.5 million subscribers on Twitter.

Read also: Teenager killed by a policeman in Nanterre: gatherings in Lille and Nantes; tensions in Toulouse

The player, whose communication is always precise and thoughtful, chose, from Miami, where he spends his vacation, Wednesday, June 28, to react to the death of Nahel M., killed at 17 by a bullet in the chest by a policeman, Tuesday in Nanterre, following a refusal to comply. He had previously discussed with several players of the France team on this subject.

According to those around him, the native of Bondy (Seine-Saint-Denis) wanted to express his amazement and his support for the family of Nahel M. His relatives, however, also take care to avoid any political recovery and that he does not become a standard of protest: it is aimed, they say, at young people in the suburbs, “legitimately angry”who might be tempted by violence rather than “to go to the white march” scheduled for Nanterre, Thursday 29 June. “It’s a citizen’s message to live together, to call for calm, to put some binder, we underline in the Mbappé camp, while the player founded his association, Inspired By KM, in 2020. We must have confidence in our police and not stir up divisions. We must not pit the police against young people. »

Shared nearly 40,000 times, his tweet – which takes up the “I hurt my France” launched by his colleague from the France team, Antoine Griezmann, in November 2020, following the attack in Paris of a black music producer, Michel Zecler, by the police – displayed Wednesday at midday more 16 million views. It symbolizes the increasingly free speech of football players on police violence, where previous generations most often avoided any incursion into societal and political themes, which traditionally neither their employers nor their sponsors.

Knee on the ground

The day before, it was another holder of the France team, FC Barcelona defender Jules Koundé, who denounced the “dramatic reality” of one “police blunder”. He went even further, questioning the coverage of the event by “continuous news channels”, whom he accuses of “distort the truth”. A message taken up by the goalkeeper of the France team, Mike Maignan, who also added in an offensive tone: “A bullet in the head… It’s always for the same people that being in the wrong leads to death. »

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