Wiesenthal Center Calls on NBA Star to Apologize for Nazi-like Salute

Spurs' Tony Parker reportedly performed the 'quenelle' gesture a few times in the past year.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail

The Simon Wiesenthal Center called on NBA star Tony Parker to apologize for his past alleged use of a gesture considered as anti-Semitic and seen by many as a Nazi salute in reverse.

The call by the center comes a day after a French soccer player, Nicholas Anelka, performed the same gesture, known as "quenelle" and used by French comedian Dieudonné, to celebrate a goal during an English Premier League match on Saturday.

Parker, who plays as a point guard for the San Antonio Spurs and on the French national basketball team, performed the Nazi-like salute a few times in the past year, according to French reports.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the SWC, criticized Parker in an interview with the Algemeiner on Sunday, saying that his use of the gesture was "disgusting and dangerous," and that the star was “mainstreaming anti-Semitic hate.”

“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, adding that the basketball star should, “apologize for his use of the quenelle ‘Nazi’ salute.”

French media reports in recent months published a picture, apparently taken earlier this year, of Parker performing the 'Nazi' salute with Dieudonné backstage at a French theater. Other reports show Parker allegedly doing the "quenelle" while appearing on a French television show, Grand Journal.

Jewish groups have complained to French President Francois Hollande about Dieudonne's trademark gesture, which they have linked to anti-Semitic incidents in France. The French government is considering ways to ban performances by the comedian, who is a friend of Anelka.

San Antonio's Tony Parker, left, defended by Atlanta Hawks' Jeff Teague.Credit: AP

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed


AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op

Palestinians search through the rubble of a building in which Khaled Mansour, a top Islamic Jihad militant was killed following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza strip, on Sunday.

Gazans Are Tired of Pointless Wars and Destruction, and Hamas Listens to Them