Arts & Culture
Tony Parker Apologizes for His Nazi Salute Picture
NBA star learns that the quenelle isn’t a joke Read More
On Sunday, the Simon Wiesenthal Center called out NBA star and French-citizen Tony Parker to apologize for his use of the “quenelle” gesture, which is ultimately described as a “reverse” Nazi salute.
To make it worse, the San Antonio Spurs guard was pictured with Dieudonne, an anti-Semitic comedian who reportedly coined the gesture. This news came a day after French soccer star Nicolas Anelka was shown using the same gesture following his goal for West Bromwhich Albion–another homage to Dieudonne and his “beliefs.”
Today, the Simon Wiesenthal Center issued a statement that they accepted the apology from Tony Parker, although they said it is crucial he apologizes in France as well.
“The Simon wiesenthal Center takes Mr. Parker at his word,” Associate Dean, Rabbi Abraham Cooper told The Algemeiner.
Parker responded with this statement today:
“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,” Parker said. “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,” the NBA star promised. “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.”
Although it would be nice to take Parker’s word as the truth, it’s still disheartening to know he rubs elbows with a well known hatemonger. With all of the anti-Semitic occurrences that happened in France this year, here’s another call-for-awareness story that should be known to all Jews, everywhere.