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PQ leader accepts apology from fired Montreal soccer coach over offensive comments

Click to play video: 'Fired soccer coach acknowledges, apologizes for offensive comments targeting former Quebec premier'
Fired soccer coach acknowledges, apologizes for offensive comments targeting former Quebec premier
The Montreal soccer coach who was hired by CF Montreal last week and then fired 24 hours later for past offensive Tweets has apologized. Sandro Grande met with members of the media on Thursday, taking responsibility for his actions and saying his family has received death threats as a result. Global’s Felicia Parrillo reports – Jan 19, 2023

The leader of the Parti Québécois has officially accepted an apology from Sandro Grande, a soccer coach who was recently fired from CF Montreal over his social media comments suggesting a former Quebec premier should have been assassinated.

Paul St-Pierre Plamondon posted a statement on his Facebook page Sunday, a few days after Grande publicly admitted and apologized for his offensive remarks about the 2012 election night shooting.

“I found in Sandro Grande a man sincere in his apologies,” St-Pierre Plamondon wrote. “And I was able to discuss the situation with his family, who obviously experienced a very difficult situation over the past few weeks.”

CF Montreal hired Grande, a former professional soccer player, as the coach of its reserve squad earlier this month. His appointment led to widespread condemnation from Quebec’s political sphere and he was promptly fired by the Major League Soccer club.

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Both Grande and the team management came under fire for his years-old social media comments about the fatal shooting at Metropolis in downtown Montreal. Premier elect and Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois was delivering her victory speech when a gunman opened fire, killing one person and seriously injuring another in September 2012.

In wake of the attack, Grande notably wrote on Twitter that the only mistake the shooter made was missing his target in reference to Marois.

After he was fired in early January, a tearful Grande publicly apologized last week. He said he was ashamed of the comments he made, admitting he had previously denied having written them.

Grande said he was taking full responsibility for his actions and that he received a touching response from Marois after he sent her an apologetic letter.

St-Pierre Plamondon said that when he met with Grande and his family over the weekend, they spoke for nearly an hour.

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“As I mentioned in my first speech regarding the appointment of Mr. Grande by CF Montreal, our objective at the Parti Québécois is not to ‘cancel’ an individual, nor to punish or get revenge, but to ensure that we live in a respectful and democratic society, where each person feels safe, regardless of the ideas they defend,” St-Pierre Plamondon wrote.

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The leader of the PQ added that in line with Marois’ wish to not see the former soccer player be “ostracized,” he felt comfortable accepting Grande’s apology on behalf of the party and its sovereignty movement. By doing so, St-Pierre Plamondon said Grande will be to “turn the page” and contribute positively to Quebec society in the future including teaching soccer to young athletes.

“We also agreed that, once the dust settles, we will do joint activities on the themes of preventing hatred and promoting respectful and humane democratic dialogue,” St-Pierre Plamondon said.

— with files from Global News’ Felicia Parrillo and The Canadian Press

Click to play video: 'CF Montreal fires coach over past comments on Quebec election night shooting'
CF Montreal fires coach over past comments on Quebec election night shooting

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