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France: Sports shop nixes headscarf sales amid backlash

– Facing extremist threats, insults, Decathlon chain reverses course on decision to offer headscarves for women athletes

<p>By Yusuf Ozcan</p> <p>PARIS (AA) – Facing an Islamophobic backlash, a major French sports gear retailer has cancelled plans to sell sports headscarves in its stores.</p> <p>&quot;We are making the decision… to not market this product in France at this time,&quot; Xavier Rivoire, communication director for the Decathlon chain, said Tuesday, citing &quot;a wave of insults&quot; and &quot;unprecedented threats&quot; targeting this retailer. </p> <p>After it had announced it would offer the headscarves, some Decathlon staff had faced insults and threats.</p> <p>&quot;It’s a vision of women that I don’t share. I would prefer if a French brand did not promote the headscarf,&quot; French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn told French media.</p> <p>&quot;My choice as a woman and citizen will be to no longer trust a brand which breaks with our values,&quot; French politician Aurore Berge had said on Twitter, where she suggested boycotting Decathlon.</p> <p>Francois Bayrou, the head of the French Democratic Movement had told TV channel LCI that Decathlon selling headscarves would be “a bit provocative.”</p> <p>Decathlon said on Twitter that it had received more than 500 calls and e-mails, insults, and physical threats over headscarves and urged calm, saying its decision was no place for insults or threats.</p>

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