Nicolas Anelka Goal Celebration Ignites Controversy Due to Alleged Anti-Semitic Gesture

West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka scored two vital goals against West Ham United today, but one of his goal celebrations has ignited a storm of controversy in France, where people are claiming the first goal celebration featured an anti-semitic gesture.

French journalist Philippe Auclair explained:

“[There’s a] big storm brewing in France about Anelka’s ‘celebration’ of his first goal [against West Ham] with a – to say the least- [very] controversial gesture.

“This gesture, ‘la quenelle’, was invented by a comedian named Dieudonne, supposedly as an ‘anti-establishment’ statement. But it can also be read as an inversion of the Nazi salute, and has been the subject of an official complaint by anti-racist organizations.

“To use it at the moment is cretinous at best. Far worse than the finger aimed at MCFC fans by Wilshere, which was rightly punished.

“It is a deeply offensive gesture in the current political context in France, especially to our Jewish community. Objectively.”

Here’s a photo of Dieudonne with Anelka making the gesture:

Dieudonne is allegedly an anti-semitic comedian, and the gesture is allegedly a nazi salute in reverse.

West Bromwich Albion caretaker manager Keith Downing responded to the criticism regarding his player by stating:

“It has got nothing to do what is being said. It is absolute rubbish. It is dedicated to a French comedian he knows very, very well.”

Even if it was made as a dedication to his French comedian friend, Anelka’s decision to make the gesture is completely irresponsible.

Editor’s note: For the latest Baggies news, analysis and opinion, visit the West Brom team page.

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