As we’ve often seen before, sport’s emotional power and ability to unite people means it can play a role in the grieving and healing processes following major tragedies. Among the many moving public tributes in France yesterday following the killing of 12 people at the office of Charlie Hebdo magazine was this at the Ligue 1 game between Lille and Evian.
Players wore black armbands and a minute’s silence was held, ending with a stirring and spontaneous rendition of the French national anthem. The French Football Federation announced a minute’s silence will be held at matches in France this weekend, all the way down the pyramid to local levels.
Posters in support of the murdered journalists and the principle of free speech will be placed in stadium press areas, and a sportswriters union is inviting reporters to hold their press passes aloft during the silences.