A French soccer player has gotten himself in hot water for give a Nazi-like salute after scoring a goal. His excuse? Obama did it, too.
French player Nicolas Anelka has outraged Jewish leaders and many Europeans when he gave the salute after scoring a goal during an English Premier League football game on Saturday, December 28.
Anelka, a player for West Bromwich Albion, performed what is called a quenelle–a reversed, arm down Nazi salute revived in France by controversial black comedian Dieudonné.
The French comedian has been criticized in France for being anti-Semitic and insulting the memory of Holocaust victims. For his part, he denies the salute is a Nazi salute and says it is merely an “anti-establishment” salute. The comedian is also happens to be a close friend of the soccer player.
After he gave the salute during the game, many began to call for his censure.
Dr Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, said the salute sickened him.
“This salute is merely a lesser-known Nazi salute and we expect the same kind of punishment to be handed down by the authorities as if Anelka had made the infamous outstretched arm salute.This salute was created by a well-known extreme anti-Semite who has displayed his hatred of Jews, mocked the Holocaust and Jewish suffering,” Kantor said.
But the player said he wasn’t aware of what the salute meant and was just doing something he learned from his friend.
Anelka also had another excuse. Obama did it, too.
Jay-Z, Beyonce and the President at a fundraiser in September.
Attempting to dig himself out of the public relations hole he was in, the soccer player Tweeted a photo of President Obama and rappers Jay-Z and Beyonce performing what Anelka claimed was a similar gesture.
But, unfortunately for Nicolas Anelka, the photo he Tweeted did not quite go to prove his point. In the Obama photo, the President and the rappers are mimicking the brushing of “dirt off your shoulder” as in the Jay-Z song of the same name. It had nothing to do with any salute.
What do you folks think? Was the soccer player just ill informed about the controversy over the salute? Or do you think he meant more by it than he is willing to admit? Tell us in the comments.
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