Posted January 01, 2014

Gregg Popovich feels bad for Tony Parker following controversial gesture

NBA
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said Tony Parker "doesn’t have an anti-Semitic or anti-Muslim or anti-Christian bone in his body." (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Gregg Popovich said Tony Parker “doesn’t have an anti-Semitic or anti-Muslim or anti-Christian bone in his body.” (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said this week that he felt bad for Tony Parker in the wake of a 2011 photo that surfaced of the San Antonio guard making a controversial gesture — “the quenelle” — with French comedian and political activist Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala.

As Dan McCarney wrote for the San Antonio Express-News, the gesture involves holding out one arm straight while touching that arm’s shoulder with the opposite hand, and while M’Bala “claims it’s a show of anti-authoritarianism…a wide array of critics consider the quenelle to be anti-Semitic.”

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Parker explained himself this week following calls from a Jewish human rights group for him to apologize, and now Popovich told McCarney he feels bad for Parker, adding that he’s proud of his player for later denouncing the gesture and said Parker doesn’t “have an anti-Semitic or anti-Muslim or anti-Christian bone in his body.”

“I talked with Tony. I felt bad for him. Tony doesn’t have an anti-Semitic or anti-Muslim or anti-Christian bone in his body. That gesture was made three years ago and at that time he thought it meant something totally different. Which it did, to him. It’s morphed into something else over time. But it’s a tribute to his maturity and his leadership to understand it has morphed, as he found out, into something pretty hateful. He realized he needed to say something, that’s it not appropriate. There’s enough bigotry and racism and hatred in the world already. That thing has been taken too far. When he was informed of that and understood it, he was very quick to denounce it and understand what he had to do. So I was proud of him.”

A French interior minister said last week that he intends to ban public appearances by the comedian, who has been convicted several times in France for violating hate speech laws in the country. Parker’s teammate, Boris Diaw, has also been photographed making the gesture with M’Bala. Last weekend, French striker Nicolas Anelka of the English Premier League West Bromwich Albion Football Club celebrated a goal by making the gesture as well.

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10 comments
dchiu2013
dchiu2013

In france, it is a non story.  The twitter, instagram world is the new free media. Paper & TV media are controlled by jews and it is old media fighting for power over new media.

mrfrogburger
mrfrogburger

I'm from France and this is becoming big deal. It was started by a standup comedian whose shows revolve around (anti)Jewish jokes. The gov wants to ban his shows.

sagasha
sagasha

he didn't know? c'mon... he's a pal of the dude and dude does this ALL this time. it's his signature move! it's like flipping off the crowd and telling reporters afterwards that you just wanted the fans to know that we are number one!! LOL GIVE ME A BREAK

Hello1813
Hello1813

In all honesty, I never knew about the gesture until this publicity with Tony Parker happened.  

bambam824
bambam824

I hope Tony will eventually denounce the gesture as anti semetic. Saying, I didn't know, is not enough for a grown man.

MosesParsay
MosesParsay

@JimSwindellWhat does it make a difference who he was with at the time of incident??!! the guy is trash anyway!!!!!!!!!!!

ParishToni1
ParishToni1

@JimSwindellthank you for posting that link.  Most that post in these forums like to spread inaccurate rumors! Like the poster above you.