Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson understands goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey is “desperate” to be educated about Adolf Hitler and fascism after his apparent “lamentable” ignorance saw him cleared of wrongdoing after making an alleged Nazi salute.
Wales international Hennessey was charged by the Football Association (FA) after a photograph showing him with his right arm raised and left hand placed over his mouth was posted to Instagram by Palace team-mate Max Meyer, who is German, in January.
Hennessey denied knowingly giving the Nazi salute and an FA hearing earlier in April found the charges against him were not proven.
Nevertheless, the written reasons produced by the judging panel surmised Hennessey had “a very considerable – one might even say lamentable – degree of ignorance about anything to do with Hitler, fascism and the Nazi regime”.
And Hodgson is convinced Hennessey now wants to learn about the history attached to Nazism.
“I don’t know how disappointed one should be [about Hennessey’s perceived ignorance],” Hodgson said at a news conference on Friday.
“It’s different to people of my generation who are much closer to it [the period of time]. I don’t quite know what the young generation is learning about it.
Yesterday evening I had a meal with my team mates and we had a group photograph. I waved and shouted at the person taking the picture to get on with it and at the same time put my hand over my mouth to make the sound carry. It’s been brought to my attention that frozen in a
— Wayne Hennessey (@WayneHennessey1) January 6, 2019
“I think what is important in that report is that they made it perfectly clear they found Wayne a very honest and kind and good individual.
“The fact he lacks education is where we as a club and Kick It Out [an equality and inclusion organisation], with whom we work very closely, have to take into consideration, because maybe it’s something we haven’t been so aware of.
“Obviously we are talking about a period of history which maybe isn’t being dealt with in the education programme as it once was.
“I would guess that this might be a subject which goes beyond one individual, we might be highlighting with Wayne that it’s actually rife throughout football.
“I’ve no idea about the level of knowledge in relation to the Holocaust, the Second World War, in other clubs or even in our club. It’s now something we know may well exist and will have to be dealt with.
“Together, the club and Kick It Out, we will sort it out, certainly where Wayne’s concerned because he is actually very desperate now to learn as much as he can.”
Palace are away to Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday.
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