France's biggest sports retailer on Tuesday canceled its plans to release a sports hijab in the country after threats from politicians to boycott the company and pressure on social media.
Decathlon said it was stopping its plans to release the hijab, which is already available in Morocco after it sparked a “violent debate” and “a wave of threats” made against some of the store’s employees. The company said it had received hundreds of calls and emails complaining about the product, as well as the threats.
Initially, the country planned to release the sports hijab, which covers only the person’s hair, worldwide, saying it wanted to "make sport accessible to all women in the world."
Aurore Berge, a member of President Emmanuel Macon’s centrist party, tweeted her opposition to the hijab Tuesday, accusing the store of not respecting French values.
“My choice as a woman and citizen will be to no longer trust a brand which breaks with our values,” she tweeted, according to The Guardian.
Decathlon said the garment would not go on sale at this time and urged those who called and emailed in threats to store workers to remain “respectful.”
Muslim head scarfs are legal in public spaces in France, but have been banned in state schools and some public buildings since 2004.