Tony Parker will face both New York area NBA teams this week as the Nets and Knicks take a Texas swing. Parker will have more than just basketball questions to answer after being photographed making what appears to be an anti-Semitic gesture.
Parker can be seen in a photgraph with French comedian Dieudonne doing what is decribed as a gesture called “quenelle.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is asking the All-Star to apologize after multiple French newspapers posted pictures of Parker doing the gesture.
The call for the apology comes just one day after French soccer star Nicolas Anelka sparked outrage by displaying the same gesture after scoring a goal for West Bromwich of the English Premier League.
In the photo, Parker is seen using the gesture with French comedian Dieudonne, who invented the hand signal. Dieudonne is a known supporter of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s views on the State of Israel and his film, “The Anti-Semite,” was banned from the Cannes Film Festival last year.
Anelka claimed his use of the “quenelle” was simply a tribute to Dieudonne, whose supporters have performed the same gesture in front of former Nazi concentration camps and synagogues. Parker was pictured with the comedian backstage following one of Dieudonne’s shows in the fall.
“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 said, according to The Algemeiner.