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Parti Québécois leader accepts apology from pro soccer coach who was fired for offensive tweets

Parti Québécois Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon said he accepted Sandro Grande’s apology on Sunday after the two men spoke for over an hour at the PQ offices in Montreal.

Earlier this month, Grande, a former professional soccer player, was hired as head coach of the reserve team for CF Montreal, but he was quickly fired after a Twitter post from 10 years ago resurfaced.

On Sept. 4, 2012, a shooting erupted outside the Parti Québécois victory celebration at the Métropolis Theatre in Montreal, where Pauline Marois was celebrating her party’s win. 

“The only mistake the shooter made last night was missing his target! Marois!!! Next time, buddy! I hope!” Grande tweeted at the time. He later denied writing the tweet, however, and said his account had been hacked.

WATCH | Sandro Grande gets emotional during press conference :

parti quebecois leader accepts apology from pro soccer coach who was fired for offensive tweets

Sandro Grande says he is sorry

4 days ago

Duration 0:54

Sandro Grande expresses his regret for his comments on social media in a tearful apology.

But last week, Grande admitted he wrote the tweet and issued a tearful apology. 

St-Pierre Plamondon was among the politicians who criticized CF Montreal for hiring Grande but in a Facebook post on Sunday, he said he believed in the sincerity of his apology.

“I found in Sandro Grande a man sincere in his apology and I was able to discuss the situation with his family, which has obviously lived a very difficult situation in recent weeks,” St-Pierre Plamondon said.

In his apology, Grande said he wrote a letter to Marois to apologize and he said he had received a response.

In his Facebook post, St-Pierre Plamondon shared some of what Marois said. “I am sure you want to pass on good values to your children, but all public people — that includes you, of course — have a responsibility to contribute to a respectful debate and to pass on the importance of that respect to younger generations,” Marois wrote.

“I am told that you and members of your family are receiving hurtful messages in the aftermath of recent events. This is totally contrary to my values. If you believe that publishing your letter and my response can help you turn the page, I encourage you to do so,” she continues.

St-Pierre Plamondon said he and Grande agreed to work together to organize “joint activities on the themes of preventing hate and promoting respectful and humane dialogue.”

“To the extent that Ms. Marois does not wish to see Mr. Grande ostracized or ‘cancelled,’ I feel comfortable, as leader of our political party and our movement, accepting her apology and thus allowing Mr. Grande to turn the page, so that he can contribute as positively as possible to our society in the future,” St-Pierre Plamondon said.

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