UK soccer player to be educated about Nazis after ‘ignorant’ Hitler salute
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UK soccer player to be educated about Nazis after ‘ignorant’ Hitler salute

Wayne Hennessey made the gesture, but was found not guilty after panel accepted his claim he had no idea what it meant

A screenshot of an image posted to Instagram and then deleted by Max Meyer that appears to show Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey (back left) making a Nazi salute. (Screenshot/Instagram)
A screenshot of an image posted to Instagram and then deleted by Max Meyer that appears to show Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey (back left) making a Nazi salute. (Screenshot/Instagram)

LONDON — Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey is to be educated about the evils of the Nazis after a Football Association panel (FA) judged he displayed a “lamentable degree of ignorance” about Adolf Hitler, his manager at Crystal Palace Roy Hodgson said.

The 32-year-old had been in the dock over making what looked like a Nazi salute on a night out on January 5 with his team-mates after beating lower league Grimsby Town in the FA Cup.

However, an FA panel voted 2-1 to believe his claim he did not know what a Nazi salute was and any resemblance to it was “absolutely coincidental.”

Hodgson, speaking ahead of this Sunday’s Premier League clash with Arsenal, said it was up to the club to teach Hennessey and other players about the crimes of the Nazis under Hitler.

Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey punches the ball clear whilst under pressure, during the English Premier League soccer match between Burnley and Crystal Palace, at Turf Moor, in Burnley, England, Saturday, March 2, 2019. (Nigel French/PA via AP)

“I don’t know how disappointed one should be,” said Hodgson.

“It’s different to people of my generation (he is 71) who are much closer to it. I don’t quite know what the young generation is learning about it.

“I think what is important in that report is that they made it perfectly clear they found Wayne a very honest and kind and good individual.

“The fact he lacks education is where we as a club and Kick It Out, with whom we work very closely, have to take into consideration, because maybe it’s something we haven’t been so aware of.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson enters the field for an English FA Cup fourth round soccer match between Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur at Selhurst Park in London, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

“Obviously we are talking about a period of history which maybe isn’t being dealt with in the education program as it once was.”

Hodgson said the club and Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation, would collaborate to teach a willing Hennessey about World War II.

“I’ve no idea about the level of knowledge in relation to the Holocaust, the Second World War, in other clubs or even in our club,” said Hodgson.

“It’s now something we know may well exist and will have to be dealt with.

“Together, the club and Kick It Out, we will sort it out, certainly where Wayne’s concerned because he is actually very desperate now to learn as much as he can.”

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