Tony Parker apologizes for controversial photo
San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker publicly apologized on Monday for a controversial photo that he took several years ago displaying an anti-Semitic gesture known as the “quenelle.” According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, “The quenelle, which is performed by holding one arm straight by one's side while touching that arm's shoulder with the opposite hand, has been called a reverse Nazi salute. It has been popularized by Dieudonne, who is a well-known actor, comedian and political figure in France.”
In his public statement Parker 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."
For the most part, the San Antonio Spurs have been the NBA's model citizen. Rarely, do the Spurs make the news for matters outside of basketball and for the NBA’s sake, hopefully it will stay that way for every player in the NBA, in particular, in relation to matters of race.