After French soccer star Nicolas Anelka outraged many when he used the controversial “quenelle” gesture, which is said to be a reverse Nazi salute, after scoring a goal for English soccer club, West Bromwich, he faces a suspension of up to five games. Now Jewish human rights groups are calling on Tony Parker to apologize after a photo of him was snapped making the same address with the French comedian, Dieudonne, who is said to have popularized the hateful gesture.
Via The Algemeiner, a New York-based newspaper that covers Jewish and Israel-related topics:
Jewish human rights group, the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), called on NBA star Tony Parker to apologize for his past use of the “quenelle” gesture which is widely considered to be anti-Semitic, and has been described as “the Nazi salute in reverse.”
Calling Parker’s use of the gesture “disgusting and dangerous” and, saying that the star was “mainstreaming anti-Semitic hate,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the SWC, said that Parker should, “apologize for his use of the quenelle ‘Nazi’ salute.”
“As a leading sports figure on both sides of the Atlantic, Parker has a special moral obligation to disassociate himself from a gesture that the government of France has identified as anti-Semitic,” Cooper said, in an interview with The Algemeiner.
Representatives for the NBA, and Parker’s team the San Antonio Spurs, did not immediately respond to The Algemeiner’s requests for comment.”
Here is Parker making the Quenelle salute with Dieudonne, and below is Spurs forward and fellow Frenchman, Boris Diaw, making the same reverse Nazi sign.
— tweeterman (@martin76130) December 28, 2013
Boris Diaw and Tony Parker doing the "quenelle" (nazi gesture). Sick people. pic.twitter.com/wikTuAXXFf
— Doctor NBA (@DoctorNBA) December 30, 2013
BBC News has more on the origins of the controversial salute and how its come to represent the Anti-Semitism that still permeates areas in the world. Hopefully, Parker and Diaw apologize after trying to explain their actions even if they were inadvertent.
UPDATE: Parker has now released an official statement:
“While this gesture has been part of French culture for many years, it was not until recently that I learned of the very negative concerns associated with it. When l was photographed making that gesture three years ago, I thought it was part of a comedy act and did not know that it could be in any way offensive or harmful. Since I have been made aware of the seriousness of this gesture, I will certainly never repeat the gesture and sincerely apologize for any misunderstanding or harm relating to my actions. Hopefully this incident will serve to educate others that we need to be more aware that things that may seem innocuous can actually have a history of hate and hurt.”
What do you think?
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