ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
84°
Mostly Clear
H 90° L 68°
  • cloudy-day
    84°
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Clear. H 90° L 68°
  • clear-day
    90°
    Today
    Mostly Clear. H 90° L 68°
  • clear-day
    91°
    Tomorrow
    Mostly Clear. H 91° L 69°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Sports
French soccer looking to stop homophobia in stadiums
Close

French soccer looking to stop homophobia in stadiums

French soccer looking to stop homophobia in stadiums
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Scott Heppell
FILE - In this Sept. 13, 2014, photo a view of rainbow laces in Tottenham Hotspurs' Harry Kane boots, as part of an anti-homophobia campaign, as he warms up ahead of their English Premier League soccer match against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland, England. The French football league has set up an action plan to tackle homophobia in its stadiums that paves the way for judicial sanctions against abusive fans. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)

French soccer looking to stop homophobia in stadiums

The French soccer league has set up an action plan to tackle homophobia in its stadiums, a system that will pave the way for judicial sanctions against abusive fans.

Often heard at French league matches, homophobic chants have been tolerated for a long time by many club officials, and soccer authorities have struggled to find the appropriate ways of tackling the issue.

But under the plan unveiled Monday by French soccer league president Nathalie Boy de la Tour, abusive fans should be worried.

Starting next season, in cooperation with the International League against Racism and anti-Semitism (LICRA) and a group fighting violence and discrimination against LGBT people, the French league will distribute forms allowing spectators to report the sexist, homophobic or racist incident they witness.

"The LICRA will be able to start the appropriate judicial procedures," Boy de la Tour said. "And it will also give a basis to work with to our disciplinary commission."

The French league previously struggled to identify the perpetrators of homophobic chants. With its new process, sanctions are expected to kick in.

According to Frederic Potier, the French government's special representative on racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination, insults made in public places like stadiums can lead to large fines.

"If qualified as homophobic, they can be punished with a 22,500 euro ($25,000) fine and six months in prison," Potier said.

Like with racist abuse, Boy de la Tour said referees are also entitled to stop games in case of homophobic insults targeting players. The league's disciplinary commission can also hand point deductions for incidents involving gay discrimination.

The French league has increased its efforts against discrimination following a league match at the Parc des Princes this season between rivals Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille that was marred by homophobic chants by PSG fans. Sports minister Roxana Maracineanu attended the game and said afterward she was appalled, and would not take her children to the stadium.

Earlier this month, second-division club Lens was sanctioned by the French league after fans sang discriminatory chants targeting local rival Valenciennes, leading judicial authorities to open an investigation. Lens was fined 50,000 euros ($56,000) and the league's disciplinary commission ordered a suspended one-match closure of a stand at the northern club's stadium.

"Never had we seen such an important financial sanction," Boy de la Tour said.

In addition to the clampdown on fans, Boy de la Tour also insists on the pedagogical work that needs to be done with supporters and players, who are often unaware of the true meaning of the insults they hear, or use. Thousands of leaflets will be distributed to coaches and players at academies across the country, while club supporters in charge of organizing dialogue with soccer authorities will receive a specific formation.

The campaign will officially be launched on May 17 during the International Day against Homophobia, when team captains, coaches and referees will wear a special rainbow armband at second-division matches. Their topflight counterparts will also take part during the 37th round of matches on May 18. A short movie will also be aired in stadiums and on social networks, with the slogan "Homo or Hetero, we all share the same shirt."

According to Yoann Lemaire, who made a documentary on homosexuality in soccer, players should also get more involved in the debate and take strong stands against discrimination. He said "99%" of the players he approached for his movie refused to speak.

"Even just to say that it would not be a problem to play alongside a gay player," Lemaire said. "And when the player is OK to speak, their agents or clubs stop them from doing so to soften their communication. I know some very well-known PSG players who prefer not to speak, by fear of being stigmatized."

France striker Antoine Griezmann is the only active star who agreed to feature in the movie.

"He was really sincere," Lemaire said. "He understands it's a touchy issue, but he told me that he would be proud to play with a guy daring to say publicly that he is gay."

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Read More

News

  • The annual Barbacoa & Big Red Festival is a food festival in San Antonio, but organizers are happier when visitors leave their knives at home. >> Read more trending news  Along with stun guns and other weapons, KSAT reported. Officials said they collected more than 600 weapons Sunday during the event, according to the festival’s Facebook page. 'Safety for our patrons is our number one priority. We are very proud to say that not a single altercation or arrest occurred at our festival,' a spokesman for the festival wrote on its Facebook page. Vigilance by festival organizers resulted in no arrests, KENS reported. Event founder DJTONYC said the delays caused by searching bags for weapons were worth it. 'Fast forward to the end of the night, if you want to know how many arrests we had, how many altercations, how many intoxicated people that we had to arrest and kick out, the answer was zero. So I mean, to me, that's successful,' DJTONYC told Spectrum News.
  • Little Caesars is making the Impossible possible for pizza lovers.  The pizza chain announced on Monday it is launching the Impossible Foods’ Supreme pizza, topped with Impossible sausage made from plants, caramelized onions, mushrooms and green peppers. >> Read more trending news  “Little Caesars has a long history of innovation aimed at providing our customers with value, quality, and convenience. Any product we introduce must deliver on those brand pillars while appealing to our loyal, mostly carnivorous, fans,' Little Caesars President and CEO David Scrivano said in a Monday news release. “I’m confident that the Impossible Supreme Pizza will go down as one of the most surprising and satisfying menu sensations of 2019. This is likely just the beginning of plant-based menu items from Little Caesars.” Burger King announced in April it is adding the Impossible Whopper to its menu nationwide. Related: Burger King to offer plant-based Impossible Whopper at US restaurants The plant-based vegan patty, made of water, plant proteins, coconut oil and heme, a natural molecule that gives burgers their distinctive taste and is found in plants, is designed to look and taste like a traditional red meat burger. The same technology used for the Impossible Burgers makes the Impossible sausage possible. “Customers have been asking for Impossible Sausage for years — and when Little Caesars said they wanted a unique, delicious pizza topping, our team developed more than 50 prototypes,” Impossible Foods’ CEO and founder Patrick O. Brown said in a statement. “One product stood out from the rest. You need to taste it to believe it.” The Impossible Supreme Pizza is currently available in three Little Caesars test markets in Ft. Meyers, Florida, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Yakima, Washington. It is $12, not including tax.
  • An Indiana family is calling for the end of lunch shaming after they said their kindergarten student was a victim of the trend. Dwight Howard told WISH is granddaughter, Anya Howard, 6, had to return a tray of hot food after her cafeteria account came up short of the $2.25 total on Friday. At the time, she had 10 cents according to a note sent home that same day. >>Read: Cafeteria worker fired for giving food to student who couldn't pay refuses offer to be rehired The student told the television station she had to walk past about 20 students to get to the back of the line as some students commented on the financial woe. When she got there, she received a peanut butter and jelly sandwich instead. But the elder Howard believes that what he called, the “cafeteria walk of shame” was not necessary and humiliated his granddaughter. >> Read more trending news  “They waited until there was a dime left, denied her the opportunity to eat the lunch that she had [been served and tried to pay for] and then she had to go to the end of the line to wait for a PB&J,” Howard told WISH. School officials told the station that other students do get the alternate lunches when they do not have the funds to pay for the hot meal, and that there are payment reminders sent once accounts drop to $5. >>Read: Chef José Andrés hears plight of lunch lady fired after giving lunch to student who couldn’t pay “Any time this happens, our staff looks to handle all of these as discreetly as possible. We do allow elementary students to charge two hot meals before receiving the alternate meal,” Greenwood Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Kent DeKonnick told WISH. DeKonnick said the Howard family has not contacted district officials and didn’t specifically speak about Anya’s case. But a note attached to the balance slip Anya received said her school, Southwest Elementary, would not allow debts. According to the letter, “Starting Monday, 5/13/2019 we are no longer allowing any Café accounts to go into the negative. If there is not enough money in your child’s account to cover the entire meal, they will be receiving a peanut butter sandwich and milk,” WISH reported. >>Read: Fired lunch lady was 'dishonest,' didn't follow rules, food vendor says Howard told WISH he wasn’t informed of his granddaughter’s account balance, or of the policy change prior to Friday’s incident.
  • House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-New York, warned former White House counsel Don McGahn Tuesday that he will be held in contempt of Congress if he does not testify about special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. >>Former White House counsel Don McGahn ignores subpoena, skips Congressional hearingThe warning came Tuesday after McGahn failed to appear before the committee for a scheduled hearing. >> Read more trending news McGahn will be the second Trump official – U.S. Attorney General William Barr was the first – to be held in contempt by Nadler’s committee if he continues to refuse to testify.What happens when someone is held in contempt of Congress? Here’s a look at the process. What is contempt of Congress?  Congress can hold a person in contempt if that person's conduct obstructs congressional proceedings or obstructs an inquiry by a congressional committee. Refusing to testify or refusing to turn over documents can constitute contempt. Where in the Constitution does it say Congress can bring contempt charges?  There is nothing in the Constitution that gives Congress the specific authority to hold someone in contempt. However, the Supreme Court has ruled on several occasions that Congress has the right under some circumstances to compel people to comply with its requests when it is legitimately overseeing an inquiry. What law governs Congress’ ability to hold someone in contempt?  A law enacted in 1938 – 2 USCA § 192 – says that any person who is summoned before Congress who 'willfully makes default, or who, having appeared, refuses to answer any question pertinent to the question under inquiry' shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a maximum $1,000 fine and 12 month imprisonment. So Congress can convict anyone of contempt for any matter?  While its power is broad, there are limits to what Congress can do. Before a congressional witness can be convicted of contempt, it must be established that the person being charged has something to do with a subject that Congress has the constitutional power to legislate. In other words, Congress cannot just go after anyone for anything. Congress must have the authority to look into a matter in order to bring contempt charges against someone who is preventing them from getting information on that matter. Also, a person cannot be made to answer questions if there is a legal basis that allows them not to answer – such as the right against incriminating yourself guaranteed in the Fifth Amendment. What is the process of finding someone in contempt?  Once a contempt citation is issued, a vote must be taken. The vote can take place in a House or Senate committee or on the floor of either the House or Senate.   A simple majority of the body is needed to support a finding of contempt. Then what happens?  After the vote is taken and if the matter passes the full House, the speaker of the House turns the matter over to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. It’s the same process for the Senate – if a vote passes, the matter is turned over to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. The U.S. attorney could then decide if the matter is to be pursued and would bring the issue before a grand jury.  If prosecuted and convicted of contempt of Congress, a person could be fined up to $1,000 and sentenced to a year in jail.  Is there anything else Congress could do?  There is a method that has not been used for many years but is an option for the leadership in Congress. A method called “inherent contempt” would allow a person to be arrested by the sergeant-at-arms of the House or Senate and brought before the accusing legislative body for a trial.  If convicted, the person could be imprisoned until they agree to comply with what Congress wants from them. They can be held in jail until the end of the current congressional session – that would be Jan. 3, 2021 – or they could be released whenever Congress decides to let them go before Jan. 3, 2021. If the House were to invoke inherent contempt charges, technically the person could be imprisoned in a spare room at the Capitol, a Capitol Police holding cell or a nearby hotel. However, this is not likely to happen. Inherent contempt has not been used since 1935. What is likely to happen?  If a deal cannot be worked out, Congress is likely to bring a civil lawsuit asking a judge to get involved. If the judge rules that a person must answer questions or surrender documents, then the person must do so or face contempt of court charges. Contempt of court is usually enforced with daily fines or imprisonment.  
  • A Michigan man was hospitalized and later arrested after police said he swallowed baggies of cocaine while resisting officers. The Detroit News reported that Michigan State Police said 38-year-old Paul Wagner was stopped for an equipment malfunction around 1 a.m. May 12. >> Read more trending news  Police said they saw a baggie of white powder believed to be cocaine inside the vehicle as they approached. When they asked Wagner to hand them the bag, he put it in his mouth and tried to swallow it. WNEM reported that when police tried to physically stop Wagner from swallowing the substance, he revved his vehicle’s engine and tried to put it in gear, according to officials. When police sensed danger to Wagner and the public, they stunned him. Wagner still managed to swallow the baggie. He was taken into custody and admitted to  the hospital for several days. He later passed three small baggies, which police said was determined to be cocaine, based on a preliminary field test, WXYZ reported. Once released from the hospital, MLive reported Wagner was charged with possession of cocaine and resisting and obstructing. WJRT reported Wagner remained in haul Monday under $100,000 bond.
  • Actor Robert De Niro honored longtime friend Al Pacino on Sunday at the American Icon Awards, and then took a shot at President Donald Trump, noting that impeachment and imprisonment would “make America great again,” Variety reported. >> Read more trending news  During the ceremony, De Niro praised Pacino, his “lifelong compatriot,” along with the program’s other inductees -- music producer Quincy Jones and former pro boxer Evander Holyfield. The pair have starred in four movies together, most famously in “The Godfather, Part 2,” in which Pacino uttered the line, “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” On Sunday night, De Niro kept Trump close in his thoughts. “You didn’t think you were going to completely get away without a ‘(expletive) Trump’ moment, did you?” De Niro said during his speech. In a video obtained by TMZ, De Niro is heard praising the night’s honorees, saying “They’ve earned our respect and admiration, and they deserve this tribute.” “On the other hand, the individual who currently purports to lead America is not worthy of any tribute,” De Niro said, to a mixture of cheers and boos. “Unless you think of his impeachment and imprisonment as a sort of tribute. Now that’s how you can make America great again.”