Whatever happened to doing a simple celebration dance?
AEK Athens midfielder Giorgos Katidis scored a goal Saturday against Veria. He celebrated scoring said goal. Unfortunately, his celebration included taking off his shirt and doing a Nazi salute at the crowd. And now, he finds himself banned from the national team for life.
Katidis is contesting the ruling, claiming he was just pointing at a teammate in the crowd (With his whole hand? Seems legit.). As he explained via Twitter: “I am not a fascist and would not have done it if I had known what it meant.”
Katidis’ German coach Ewald Lienen has come to his defense, stating the following:
“He is a young kid who does not have any political ideas. … He most likely saw such a salute on the internet or somewhere else and did it without knowing what it means.”
“I am 100 per cent sure Giorgos did not know what he did. He was crying in the dressing room seeing the reaction.”
Also seems legit. Oh, so the German coach is okay with it? Well, in that case…
Before we go any further, check out the video and you be the judge as to whether or not this kid was Heiling Hitler:
To be honest, I kind of believe Katidis and his coach. I’m sure Katidis is a moron. I’m sure he saw something on the Internet that he thought looked cool and decided he’d emulate it. I’m sure he has no idea what “context” or “respect” are. He’s a 19-year-old professional athlete, how could he?
But that doesn’t excuse what he did. Giving the Nazi salute to a country that was occupied by the Nazis during World War II? That is beyond the pale. Here’s hoping the powers that be don’t go soft and lift the ruling.