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Soccer Star Gives ‘Nazi-Like’ Gesture After Goal, Suggests It’s OK Because Obama Did It Too (He Didn’t)

French soccer player Nicolas Anelka has come under fire this week for using a new Nazi-like gesture to celebrating scoring a goal.

The soccer star’s friend Dieudonné M’bala M’bala (a French comedian) popularized the gesture, known as the “quenelle,” which The Guardian describes as “a downward Nazi salute with an obscene gesture meaning ‘up yours.'”

Dieudonné denies any antisemitic meaning in the gesture, but it has nonetheless become synonymous with such hate for the Jewish people as many fans of the comedian have taken photographs of themselves giving the hand gesture while standing at Jewish memorials like the Auschwitz concentration camp or the home where Anne Frank and her family hid during the Holocaust.

Anelka gave the gesture during a English Premier League match this weekend and immediately took to Twitter to defend himself as simply paying homage to his friend:

In an effort to defend himself from an onslaught of social media critics, the soccer player also tweeted a photograph of President Obama, Jay Z, and Beyoncé giving this gesture to camera:

Except, of course, that gesture is a reference to Jay Z’s hit song “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” and its corresponding gesture meant to symbolize brushing away other people’s personal attacks. It is most certainly not Dieudonné’s “quenelle.”

Nevertheless, as the social media mockery continued, Anelka released further statements in French, via Twitter:

Rough translation:

This quenelle is a dedication to Dieudonné. With regard to the ministers who give their own interpretations of my quenelle, it is they who create the controversy without knowing what the gesture really means. I ask people not to be duped by the media. And of course, I am neither racist nor anti-Semitic and I am fully okay my gesture.

Watch Anelka give the gesture below:

[h/t TheBlaze]

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