On Friday, France captain, Kylian Mbappe, and Les Bleus called for an end to violence and said “dialogue and reconstruction” is the way forward.
This is as the wave of violence hit its fourth night, as protests continued after the fatal police shooting of a teenager.
“The time of violence must give way to that of mourning, dialogue, and reconstruction,” the team said in a statement posted on social media by the Paris Saint-Germain(PSG) superstar.
Les Bleus said they were “shocked by the brutal death of young Nahel” but asked that violence give way to “other peaceful and constructive ways of expressing oneself”.
Clashes with police have shaken many cities and neighborhoods across France since the death of 17-year-old Nahel, who was shot dead on Tuesday by a police officer during a traffic stop in a Paris suburb.
“Since this tragic event, we have witnessed the expression of popular anger, the substance of which we understand, but the form of which we cannot endorse,” the French football team said in the message shared on their personal social media accounts.
The players said they share “these feelings of pain and sadness” but “it is your property that you are destroying, your neighborhoods, your cities, your places of fulfillment.”
“In this context of extreme tension, we cannot remain silent and our civic conscience encourages us to call for appeasement, awareness, and accountability,” they said.
“There are other peaceful and constructive ways of expressing ourselves. This is where our energies and our thoughts must be focused.”
In a separate message sent to followers of the France team, coach Didier Deschamps “welcomed” the initiative of the players.
“My staff and I are associated with it,” he said. “We also have a thought for Nahel’s family. However, without wanting to give lessons to anyone, I have a deep conviction that violence has never solved anything. I hope with all my heart that the situation will improve,” he said.