French sports brand Decathlon has pulled a runner’s hijab from its range in France after plans to sell the veil caused a huge backlash from the public and politicians.
It said it had been subjected to “an unprecedented wave of insults and threats, adding in a tweet how "staff in our stores have been insulted and threatened, sometimes physically".
Despite causing controversy over its decision to commercialise the Islamic garment, which it already sells in Morocco, Decathlon initially decided to stick with its decision to bring it to Europe.
But it swiftly reversed that move when several politicians, including a spokeswoman for President Emmanuel Macron's La République en Marche party, called for a boycott of the brand.
Decathlon head of communications Xavier Rivoire told RTL radio the chain won’t be selling the runner’s veil in France until further notice after the reaction its announcement received.
Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said she would have preferred that a French company refrained from promoting the veil.
She added: ""It's a vision of women that I don't share."
Aurore Bergé, spokeswoman for La République en Marche said: "My choice as a woman and citizen will be to no longer put my trust in a brand that breaks away from our values."
Decathlon initially said the runner’s hijab responded to the needs of some runners.
Three years ago, an all-encompassing swimsuit known as the burkini and worn by a small minority of Muslim women caused controversy in France after some French mayors banned it.