Tony Parker quenelle salute angers fans as the San Antonio Spurs basketball star uses a well-known Nazi symbol in a photograph.
The quenelle symbol, a French hand signal that represents a reverse Nazi salute, sparked a fire this week after San Antonio Spurs player Tony Parker used the hand gesture in a photo with French comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala. While Parker later apologized for the photo, stating that he did not know its anti-Semitic history, the damage has been done as many fans criticized the basketball stud for the image.
Once the Tony Parker quenelle salute hit mainstream media, the NBA star issued an apologetic statement in which he said:
“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.”
While Parker may not have been aware of the negative connotation the symbol has, Dieudonné M’bala M’bala may have known as he has been persecuted and convicted numerous times in France for his anti-Semitic remarks. However, according to Dieudonné, the symbol is now used as an anti-establishment gesture rather than a racist one.
Tony Parker Quenelle Salute Ignites Firestorm from Fans.