‘I’m A Pineapple Not A Racist’: Nicolas Anelka Defends His ‘Quenelle’ Gesture
NICOLAS Anelka, formerly Le Grand Sulk of English football became its pariah when he performed the cryptic quenelle gesture. Having left West Bromwich Albion after being handed a five-match ban by the FA for making the gesture during the 3-3 draw with West Ham in December, Anelka is talking to Metro News.
“Because some people have performed [the quenelle] in front of a synagogue, then the gesture is suddenly meant to be racist and anti-Semitic in any place and in any situation? Sorry, I’m not swallowing that. I’ve tried to swallow it but it won’t go down. So if I understand correctly, all priests are paedophiles and all Muslims are terrorists? For me, it’s the same principle. If this continues, the people who decide that the quenelle is racist will soon ban us from eating pineapples! It is a vulgar gesture, I grant you. There was never any religious intent on my part. I am neither racist nor anti-Semitic and this quenelle was a simple dedication.”
Which all goes to show why Anelka is a man ideally suited to making gestures because when he speaks, he sounds like a berk.
“My quenelle was very misunderstood. I have no record of racism or anti-Semitism, there is no evidence to support it, not even a shred of evidence. I have never had a problem with the Jewish community, and besides why would I have? There are so many questions and no answers. At some point we must stop being paranoid and believing that we are all at war. The people who wrote the headlines do not know my life.”
The quenelle was devised by Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, who is anti-Semitic.
“Dieudonne was a friend, now he has become a brother!’. The court [FA disciplinary hearing] asked if he was my friend, I said ‘Yes, of course’. He is a comedian, not a politician. He remains for me the best in France. It was not easy to support someone who was public enemy No 1.”
Anelka thought that a football match was place to make his political statement. Most of us go to game to escape life’s big issues. But Anelka thinks The Hawthons is great venue to make a point about Jews, power and French comedy. Did any of hanker to hear Jimmy Greaves’ views on Northern Ireland, or Tony Adam’s opinion of the miners’ strike?
Don’t blame Anelka for thinking the pitch a fitting place for activism; blame the politicians who suck up to footballers in the hope that their popularity among the feared working class will give them man-of-the-people gloss.
Don’t get a policy. Get Beckham.
Note: For those of you not aware of the significance of football and the pineapple, the above photo is of Jason Lee, who whilst at Nottingham Forest wore his hair high on his head. This caused him to be heralded with the song – belted out to the tune He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands – “He’s got a pineapple on his head…”
Jason Lee missed the chance: he should have advertised his noggin as part of the Government’s five-a-day drive to get us eating more fruit, possibly in a duet with a hologram of the great fruit campaigner Carmen Miranda:
The best thing to do with Anelka is not to ban him, but to lampoon him. Why didn’t other footballers start doing the quenelle, or distortions of it; or invent their own gestures? So. We’ll leave you with spot of Jason. What we enjoy about football is the fun and humour. Anelka and his political pals don’t understand that. And that’s damning given that the player’s mate advertises himself as a comedian: