Right Field

Tony Parker Apologizes for Anti-Semitic Gesture

Spurs point guard Tony Parker apologized earlier today for making an anti-Semitic gesture linked to French comedian Dieudonné:

The photograph shows Parker and a French comedian making a gesture known in France as a “quenelle,” which critics describe as inverted Nazi salute. Parker said in a statement released through the Spurs that the photograph was taken three years ago.

“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,” Parker said. . . .

Parker did not speak with reporters after practice Monday. He said in his statement that he would never repeat the gesture again.

“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,” Parker said.

Another friend of Dieudonné, West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Alenka, has refused to apologize after performing the gesture during a match on Saturday, and the English Premier League may ultimately suspend him.

More here.

Jason Epstein is the president of Southfive Strategies, LLC. He was a public-relations consultant for the Turkish embassy in Washington from 2002 to 2007.