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An old photograph of Tony Parker has surfaced and forced the San Antonio Spurs point guard to apologize for what many consider to be a pro-Nazi salute.

The picture, snapped three years ago, features Parker and a French comedian making the “quenelle” gesture.

This pose often generates controversy from those who believe it has anti-Semitic connotations.

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Photo via Getty Images

But Parker has issued a statement through the team, saying he didn’t know at the time that “it could be in any way offensive or harmful,” thinking the gesture was part of a comedy act.

 

“When l was photographed making that gesture three years ago, I thought it was part of a comedy act and did not know that it could be in any way offensive or harmful,” Parker said.

“Since I have been made aware of the seriousness of this gesture, I will certainly never repeat the gesture and sincerely apologize for any misunderstanding or harm relating to my actions. Hopefully this incident will serve to educate others that we need to be more aware that things that may seem innocuous can actually have a history of hate and hurt.”

The image surfaced earlier this week after French soccer star Nicolas Anelka star also made the quenelle gesture and the European Jewish Congress President requested that he be banned for it.

In the U.S., meanwhile, Tila Tequila came under fire this month for actually posing in Nazi garb.