Worldsport

What's in a gesture?

Updated 3:12 PM ET, Fri March 14, 2014
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West Brom player Nicolas Anelka was banned and fined by the English Football Association for making an allegedly anti-Semitic gesture. The striker denied intending to cause any offense but the French government has criticized him. IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images
In the early part of his career, the controversial French footballer -- who has played for top clubs such as Real Madrid, Chelsea, Arsenal and Juventus -- was nicknamed "Le Sulk." Getty Images
The "quenelle" gesture has been popularized by the anti-establishment French comedian Dieudonne, who has been condemned in France for anti-Semitism. Here people perform the "quenelle" in front of Dieudonne's theater, while protesting against French interior minister Manuel Valls who has called for Dieudonne's performances to be banned. Pierre Andrieu/AFPGetty Images
Supporters of Dieudonne argue that the issue of "freedom of speech" in France is at stake after Valls called for the comic's performances to be banned. Here a man poses with one of his drawings showing a Jewish character covering the mouth of another character with a gag reading "freedom of speech." Pierre Andrieu/AFP/Getty Images
In November, Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala was fined 28,000 euros ($38,591) for defamation, insults, incentive to hate and discrimination for remarks he made and a song broadcast in two videos on the internet. Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho is another footballer who has been photographed performing the gesture. Sakho said he was tricked into performing the signal and wrote on his Twitter account: "This photo was taken six months ago, I did not know the meaning of this gesture, I got trapped!" Franck Fife/Getty Images
Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri, who was also photographed making the "quenelle" gesture, insisted he used it to symbolize "being against the system." He tweeted: "It has absolutely nothing to do with being anti-Semitic or against Jewish people. I apologize for causing any hurt to anyone." Michael Regan/Getty Images
Over in the U.S., NBA superstar Tony Parker has been forced to apologize after a picture from three years ago surfaced of him doing the "quenelle." Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
According to the French Interior Ministry, there were 1,539 racist and anti-Semitic attacks in 2012, a rise of 22%. Sebastian Bozon/AFP/Getty Images/file
Located in the northeastern suburbs of Paris, Drancy concentration camp was used mainly as a holding place for Jews awaiting deportation to other concentration camps. Approximately 70,000 prisoners passed through Drancy between August 1941 and August 1944. Most of the Drancy inmates were Jews except for some members of the French resistance. Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images/file