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If you're planning on watching the Brazil/France match later on today, you may notice that France doesn't suit up a lot of white guys. Of the 23-man roster, 16 of them are something other than white.

And this brings great displeasure to French politician Jean-Marie Le Pen, who I can only assume is like the French Trent Lott. He argues that the people of France can't take much joy in the success of the team, because it's not really representative of the French people. In other words, he'd like to see more whiteys out there.


Anyway, French player Lilian Thuram spoke up about it yesterday, and did so impressively. His comments, in part:

"When we take to the field, we do so as Frenchmen. All of us. When people were celebrating our win, they were celebrating us as Frenchmen, not black men or white men. It doesn't matter if we're black or not, because we're French. I've just got one thing to say to Jean Marie Le Pen. The French team are all very, very proud to be French. If he's got a problem with us, that's down to him but we are proud to represent this country. So Vive la France, but the true France. Not the France that he wants."

Eh, not bad. But for poignant commentary from contemporary athletes, I still prefer Todd Bertuzzi's "It is what it is."


We are Frenchmen says Thuram, as Le Pen bemoans number of black players [Guardian Unlimited]