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Adrian Durham deconstructs the tragedy of Wayne Hennessey's ignorance on fascism

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An FA panel said on Tuesday afternoon that Wayne Hennessey did not know what a Nazi salute was, after the Crystal Palace goalkeeper was previously cleared of making the offensive gesture in a photograph.

Hennessey was investigated after a photo of him appearing to make a Nazi salute was posted to his teammate Max Meyer's Instagram story before it was removed after the faux pas was highlighted by followers.

The FA panel said Hennessey demonstrated a "lamentable" lack of knowledge of Nazi Germany and recommended that the goalkeeper “familiarise himself with events which continue to have a great significance to those who live in a free country."

Hennessey's explanation at the time was that he was “making an innocent gesture to attract the attention of the photographer."

Now, it appears he had little to no knowledge of the fascist message behind the salute.

talkSPORT host Adrian Durham addressed the issue on his show on Tuesday, passionately deconstructing the tragedy of Hennessey's lack of knowledge about what the gesture means.

"I don't expect Hennessey to be a history expert," he said. "I don't expect him to have read any books or done anything as remotely taxing as that, but at the age of 32, I'd expect Wayne Hennessey to at least have enquired about some of the more important facts connected with Nazi Germany."


Durham then goes on to question whether Hennessey ever wondered what the memorial in his home town of Bangor was in memory of, why he wears a poppy on his jersey in November, why Adolf Hitler is so hated and why Winston Churchill is so revered.

"I don't expect him to win mastermind, OK? He's a footballer, I get it, his gifts are with his hands, I don't expect him to be a brain box, but there is a very serious side to all of this.

"He's a man who represents his country. He's a man who's played for Wales in Germany, and as a representative of his country i expect him to have at least a basic understanding of some historical facts, which should not be ignored.

"For example: if he doesn't know about the Holocaust, how is he expected to recognise anti-semitism at football matches, should it happen?

"Are Crystal Palace proud of the fact that one of their senior players doesn't recognise what a Nazi salute is?

"If he really is ignorant to the Second World War, the Holocaut and the evils of Nazi Germany, I suggest he should use some of his salary to pay for a trip to Auschwitz. You can't come away from Auschwitz without a deep sense of grief and understanding of the horrors that millions had to go through."

Durham continued: "Is it any wonder football is stuck in the dark ages on so many social issues when we have players like Wayne Hennessey declaring how totally ignorant they are? He is effectively ignorant to World War Two. The fact that the panel thought it was a plausible explanation makes me despair even more.

Before concluding, Durham added: "Wayne Hennessey has the power to vote, may I remind you, but in his 32 years on this earth he has taken no interest in modern history and politics."

His final word on the issue before concluding his powerful monologue was that: "The waiter who took the photograph of the players having dinner together, was named in the evidence today, believe it or not, as Mr. Bussollini. The tragedy of this little gem of information is that the irony of it will be completely lost in the wastelands inside Wayne Hennessey's head."

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