Nicolas Anelka has caused a bit of a storm at the weekend it seems.
He claims that the gesture he made was not anti-semitic but a tribute to his mate Dieudonne a French comic who popularised the ‘salute’.
This would be the same Dieudonne who is a known associate of far-right and anti-semitic individuals and groups and who has stood for election on an explicitly anti-semitic platform?
Let’s be clear – simply making the salute is stupid, offensive, and a generally bad thing to do – however it would not in my view mean that Anelka himself was an anti-semite – any more than when Gazza did the stupid marching band/flute thing when playing for Rangers against Celtic made him a bigot instead of an idiot.
However making the gesture and being mates with a known anti-semitic rabblerouser and political activist, surely demonstrates active support of and belief in those ideas that lay behind the gesture.