On Sunday, media outlets in France released photos of Tony Parker and teammate Boris Diaw doing the "quenelle," which is widely considered in the country to be an anti-Semitic gesture. Earlier today, Parker released a statement, apologizing for what the picture with French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala represents, as well as making it clear that the photo was taken several years ago.
"When l was photographed making that gesture three years ago, I thought it was part of a comedy act and did not know that it could be in any way offensive or harmful," Parker said. "Since I have been made aware of the seriousness of this gesture, I will certainly never repeat the gesture and sincerely apologize for any misunderstanding or harm relating to my actions. Hopefully this incident will serve to educate others that we need to be more aware that things that may seem innocuous can actually have a history of hate and hurt."
The photo involving Parker comes on the heels of West Bromwich's Nicholas Anelka doing the quenelle after scoring a goal against West Ham over the weekend. While Anelka maintains that the gesture was meant as a salute to a friend, it is also seen as "a reverse Nazi salute." Dieudonne, who is a well-known controversial figure in France for his use of anti-Semitic commentary, could now face a ban from performing in public over safety concerns.