Europe’s real problem with football’s anti-Semitism

Back in March, Greek “footballer” Giorgos Katidis had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Sunday when he made the Nazi salute after kicking a winning goal.

Apparently, not every European learned the appropriate lesson from that incident (or any number of other Nazi-related incidents), as the French Nicolas Anelka followed suit yesterday with an anti-Semitic gesture of his own. Since I don’t think I’d recognize the gesture as anti-Semitic (though I recently saw an article describing it, complete with illustrations), I’ll just let a French soccer journalist describe it:

The gesture has predictably provoked outrage, but not quite of the kind one would hope. Here’s what French Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron had to say about it (also via Twitter):

BBC provided a helpful translation: “Anelka’s gesture is a shocking provocation, disgusting. There’s no place for anti-Semitism on the football field.” Of course, anti-Semitism anywhere else would be perfectly alright.

This explains a lot.

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