Charlie Hebdo, the satirical French magazine that suffered the attack that killed 12 people on Wednesday was not, as an institution, a supporter of sports. It published numerous cartoons, many of them gracing the front page of the magazine, mocking famous soccer players, fans, and the sports industry as a whole. It also took relentless stabs at sports journalism over the years.
But despite this often-biting mockery, on Thursday the leading French sports publication, daily newspaper L’Equipe, published a moving tribute to the satirists, four of whom died in the attack.
It’s in the form of a sports score: “Liberty: 0; Barbarity: 12”
Editor-in-chief Fabrice Jouhaud tells Quartz that for L’Equipe it was important to do something because the attack was aimed at freedom of speech and thought.
Even though L’Equipe is a sports publication, he said, “it is a mass media which cannot live in a bubble.” Jouhad added that while L’Equipe, as a sports newspaper, doesn’t have the authority to write stories about the event itself, it tried to show support by featuring a cartoon drawn in Charlie Hebdo style on L’Equipe’s front page. It also aimed at “exposing the work Charlie Hebdo and its killed cartoonists did about sport.”
Inside the magazine, L’Equipe has a two-page feature on the attacks. “Late morning yesterday, the weekly satirical Charlie Hebdo no longer had the heart to laugh,” L’Equipe writes. It featured tweets and statements from prominent French athletes, and many of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons ridiculing soccer and sports journalism–the essence and definition of L’Equipe.
Here are some of the classic Charlie Hebdo covers tearing apart the world of sports:
“Olympic Games. Let’s get rid of sports journalists!”
“Four million unemployed!”
“Who cares, we have a cuddly toy!”
This cover features Karim Benzema, one of the country’s most popular soccer players: “Benzema for president! He will save France, fight AIDS….Win Eurovision….Eradicate hemorrhoids….Save the pandas….”
“Tested positive for cocaine”
Pictured above is Zlatan Ibrahimovic who plays for Paris St. Germain, the capital’s soccer team. It refers to the high taxes France imposed on its rich (the tax expires at the end of this month), and the strike threatened by the country’s soccer clubs.
“Zlatan taxed at 75%”
“No food, no ball…A million or two, please!”
This one features Raymond Domenech, the now-former manager of the French national soccer team.
“Should the euro be saved?
“Who cares? Sack Domenech!”