The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Paris Saint-Germain soccer club to honor victims of Paris attacks on jerseys

A man lights a candle at a peace sign in Molenbeek, Belgium. (Virginia Mayo/AP)

The Paris terrorist attacks last week were particularly unthinkable because they occurred not where we work or take transportation, but in places where we congregate to relax, kick back and unwind: a sports event, a concert.

Now, France’s flagship soccer team, Paris Saint-Germain, will make sure that victims of the attacks are never far from their hearts. It will say “Je suis Paris” — “I am Paris” — on player jerseys, just below the club crest.

[Turkish soccer fans disrupt moment of silence for Paris attack victims]

Whenever PSG plays, the message will be there, shining through. As The Toronto Star’s Bruce Arthur put it:

Sporting events, though, happen in major cities across the world with regularity, and they are symbols because sports is one of the few things that bring cities and nations together. The security surrounding them creates massive lines outside stadiums of all kinds, which are the definition of soft targets. Once you watch the French attacks happen, it becomes so easy to imagine it happening to you. They were lucky those hateful young men arrived late. It’s easy to be afraid, if you want.
Planes don’t stop flying because some crash, and society shouldn’t stop functioning because of this. You secure what can be reasonably secured, but if you are afraid to come together, afraid to go to a restaurant, afraid of a concert hall, afraid of waiting in line to watch soccer or hockey or basketball or baseball, afraid of the person standing next to you in line, afraid of the people who need help, then you have lost something.