Basketball superstar Tony Parker has reportedly been caught making a Nazi-like salute associated with an anti-Semitic French comedian.
The French-born National Basketball Association All-Star was photographed flashing the so-called ‘quenelle,’ which is the trademark gesture of Dieudonne Mbala-Mbala, a controversial French comic who may be banned for promulgating hatred and denying the Holocaust.
The SImon Wiesenthal Center has called on the San Antonio Spurs point guard, who was once married to Hollywood starlet Eva Longoria, to apologize for making the salute, which resembles the Nazi Heil Hitler salute, the Algemeiner reported.
“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,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Algemeiner.
The disclosure about Parker comes a day after French soccer star Nicolas Anelka made the notorious gesture while celebrating a goal in Britain’s Barclay’s Premier League, which is seen by millions worldwide.
France’s interior minister, Manuel Valls, declared that his ministry would look into banning all public performances by Dieudonne, the inventor of the quenelle.
“Despite his conviction for defamation, causing offense and inciting racial hatred and discrimination, Dieudonne M’bala M’bala doesn’t seem to recognize any limits any more,” Minister Manuel Valls said in a statement Friday announcing the legal review aimed at banning his public appearances.
On Saturday, some 200 of Dieudonne’s supporters protested against Valls’ plans, according to the news site JSSnews.com.
Dieudonne, who also invented the word “Shoananas” – a code for suggesting the Holocaust is a myth without breaking France’s laws against denying the genocide, is scheduled to perform in Bordeaux on Jan. 26.
Dieudonne has been convicted several times for inciting racial hatred against Jews in films, shows and articles.