Racial Tinge Stains World Cup Exit in France

Steven Erlanger, New York Times, June 23, 2010

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But there is a more troubling aspect to the reaction to [France’s] defeat, which has focused on lack of patriotism, shared values and national honor on a team with many members who are black or brown and descended from immigrants.

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Today’s players, he [Philippe T├ętart, a sport historian] said, “come from a generation who come from the banlieues, and they don’t necessarily have the cultural background to understand what they did.”

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“But I’m going to go farther,” he [Luc Chatel, the education minister] added. “A captain of the French team who does not sing ‘The Marseillaise,'” the national anthem, “shocks me, there it is. {snip}”

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