Hennessey showed 'lamentable ignorance' of Hitler and Nazism

By Jamie Smith 16 April 2019 223
Hennessey showed 'lamentable ignorance' of Hitler and Nazism

Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was deemed to have a "lamentable" degree of ignorance about Adolf Hitler and fascism by the panel that cleared him of a Football Association (FA) charge for an alleged Nazi salute.

Wales international Hennessey was charged by the FA after a photograph showing him with his right arm raised and left placed over his mouth was posted to Instagram by his team-mate Max Meyer in January.  

Hennessey denied knowingly giving the Nazi salute and a hearing earlier in the month found the charges against the goalkeeper were not proven.

The written reasons released on Tuesday explained why Hennessey did not receive any punishment following the incident.

"Mr Hennessey categorically denied that he was giving a Nazi salute. Indeed, from the outset he said that he did not even know what one was," the release read.

"Improbable as that may seem to those of us of an older generation, we do not reject that assertion as untrue.

"In fact, when cross-examined about this, Mr Hennessey displayed a very considerable – one might even say lamentable – degree of ignorance about anything to do with Hitler, fascism and the Nazi regime.

"Regrettable though it may be that anyone should be unaware of so important a part of our own and world history, we do not feel we should therefore find he was not telling the truth about this.

"All we would say (at the risk of sounding patronising) is that Mr Hennessey would be well advised to familiarise himself with events which continue to have great significance to those who live in a free country." 

The written reasons also noted Meyer, capped four times by Germany, would "hardly be likely" to have posted the photograph to Instagram had he felt Hennessey was giving a Nazi salute.

Meyer was among those who gave evidence, along with Hennessey's manager Roy Hodgson and Palace players Connor Wickham, James McArthur, Julian Speroni, Martin Kelly and Wilfried Zaha.

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Jamie Smith

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