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Inflammatory speech: Marc-Antoine Dequoy apologizes (but he shouldn’t have to)

Last night, the Alouettes pulled off what I’ll call the impossible: winning the Grey Cup.

I say impossible because the club has come a long way. Yes, there’s the fact that beating Toronto and Winnipeg wasn’t easy because they were better teams on paper, but mostly because the off-season didn’t start well.

With the previous owner running the team into the ground and Danny Maciocia getting in the way of signing free agents, expectations for the club in 2023 were low.

Then the arrival of Pierre-Karl Péladeau changed all that. The owner, who won both the Memorial Cup and Grey Cup in just a few months, gave the organization credibility.

While the Montreal CF was fuelled by controversy, nothing seemed to bother the Alouettes, who were going their own way.

The club, which had built an excellent defense and clearly had a good team spirit this year, went from being the worst team in the NHL (according to the experts) to getting its hands on the Grey Cup by beating good teams along the way.

Can this inspire the Habs?

But what everyone is remembering this morning is what Marc-Antoine Dequoy, a French-speaking star with the Alouettes, said after the game. I’m reposting the excerpt even though I know you’ve seen it.

To see a local guy denounce the fact that the Alouettes weren’t taken seriously on TSN (and to see him repeat the same thing in English on TSN afterwards… in a calmer tone) was astonishing.

I don’t know about you, but listening to him, my jaw dropped. It was… unexpected.

But apart from the fact that the English-language networks didn’t give the Alouettes a chance, we must also remember that in the last few days, it took complaints to ensure that there was French signage in the stadium.

Is it 2023 or 1923? Is it normal that Canadian league officials, on the sidelines of an event featuring a Quebec team, understand the importance of French less than Green Day drummer Tré Cool, who has no reason to publish in French in the first place?

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Proof that it still takes people to raise passions.

We knew Dequoy could be such an ambassador, he who has never been afraid to show that he’s proud to be a Québécois, but we couldn’t have foreseen such a patriotic outburst.

After the game, when emotions were undoubtedly less in the air, the Alouettes defensive player spoke with Benoît Rioux (JdeM) about his comments on RDS.

And even though he was calmer, we can see that the former Big Brother Célébrités contestant’s words remain. When it comes from the heart, you can’t back down.

I blew my top a little while ago in a TV interview.

I’m sorry about that, but we’re still bringing the cup back to Quebec. – Marc-Antoine Dequoy

I understand what he wanted to do… but he has nothing to apologize for. After all, he’s absolutely right to denounce a situation that’s been the talk of the town: the place of the French language.

Did you know that the CFL’s official X account publishes endless content, while the CFL’s French-language account has published absolutely nothing since the Alouettes’ victory? There’s only been one tweet in three days. Three tweets!

Did you also notice that it wasn’t with a “Grey Cup Champions” cap that the Quebecer celebrated his conquest. It was written in English, of course.

Why apologize when no one on the other side will? And why apologize when, clearly, the message doesn’t seem to have divided the locker room, where it happens in English?

Because even though Jason Maas, the Sparrow’s coach, is an English speaker, this season he has emphasized the importance of speaking French and representing Quebec.

Remember: Maas is American.

The Wisconsin native is forcing his players to learn French words. In particular, the guys have to be able to say their number in French when asked.

This video is from May. Not from last week: from before the start of the season.

Over the past week, language has been the talk of the town. Whether it’s the national anthem in Toronto, the Grey Cup display, Marc-Antoine Dequoy’s speech or the death of Karl Tremblay, it helps us be proud to be Québécois.

And that’s not something you get from TSN.

In bursts

– Now that’s funny.

– CH players support the Alouettes.

– When will the Alouettes pay tribute at the Bell Centre?

– That’s right.

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