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SoccerSports & PoliticsVideo

Greek Soccer Player Banned For Life After Nazi Salute Goal Celebration

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.

[Big Lead Sports]

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/George-Kafantaris/100000398466956 George Kafantaris

    Modern Germany could teach us a thing or two about discipline, organization, accountability,consistency-predictability and no-nonsense thinking. Yes, the Germans could whip us into economic shape.
    But they have to let us show them how we laugh, even at ourselves. Life is too precious and too short to be taken seriously. In laughter is when we converge, and melt into a one people.

  • GG

    “And now, he finds himself banned from the national team for life.”
    Not even close. The greek football association banned him for life, which basically means that cannot even play football in his club, besides the national team.

  • AWM

    “Oh, so the German coach is okay with it? Well, in that case…”

    This is a VERY loaded and irresponsible sentence. It suggests that the coach is a biased and tarnished party to carry an opinion. It is very, VERY, ignorant of German viewpoint on its history.

    To this day, barring jewish people themselves, not one country hates Nazis more than Germany. Sure, nobody likes them, but Germany has the absolute LEAST tolerance for anything anti-semetic. No country reacts stronger to anything Nazi related than Germany, and no country is harder on themselves for their own history than Germany. There is no harboured malice towards ANY of the forces or to the jewish people for the punishment handed down on Germany. They have been humbly taking that blame with duty since WWII.

    And Germans born after WWII are rigorously vigilant against the past crimes to a) distance themselves from them, as they had no part in it, and b) show regret on behalf of their nation regardless.

    That sentence almost suggests that there is a quiet sentiment among Germans that sympathizes with their past politics and allegiances, and that is unbelievably false. If that was “unintended”, then be more careful.

    Also, the kid had his hand up for all of a second, and as a 19 yr old I’m hardly confident he intended to mimic a nazi salute. Maybe just hoped to make any militaristic, or strong appearing gesture. The kid was heartbroken by the incident, and I hope that after a probationary period he can apply for reinstatement. This media whirlwind and all of greece and pro football and its fans will grill him more than enough for the rest of his life regardless.

  • Anonymous

    I would sign this, only one correction is necessary. Germany today, just like many other European countries has zero tolerance for nazism and neo-nazism, but there is a lot of tolerance for anti-semitism.

    Not the kind where you kill them by the hundreds of thousands in camps, of course. Not the kind where you say outright what you think of jews – totally unacceptable. But the kind where you subtly hint at jews in international finance, the Mossad planning 9/11, “don’t buy products from Israel”-campaigns, famous authors and Nobel laureates writing ‘poetry’ condemning Israel for being the one danger to world peace and so on…

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