People make rude gestures on a daily basis, either as a form of protest or just as a general expression of being upset. However, there’s a difference between making a rude gesture and making an offensive gesture, and San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker is learning the difference. Three years ago, he made a gesture in a photograph with a celebrity from his native France, and now he’s being forced to apologize. Tony Parker has apologized for making a gesture believed to be anti-Semitic.
The gesture is known as a quenelle. The gesture has been popularized by French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, who has been cited multiple times by French authorities for anti-Semitic remarks and jokes. Dieudonne has said the gesture is an anti-establishment gesture, though it resembles an inverted Nazi salute. French soccer player Nicolas Anelka has also used the gesture in his goal celebrations as a shout-out to Dieudonne; Anelka has said he will no longer use the gesture, as well.
“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,” said a statement released by Parker via the Spurs. “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.”
Tags: tony parker, san antonio spurs, nba, basketball, anti-semitism, anti-semitic gesture, quenelle, quenelle gesture, quenelle anti-semitic gesture, Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, Dieudonne, Nicolas Anelka, unusual images, racist gestures