AEK Athens midfielder Giorgos Katidis is the latest celebrity to embrace that “I’m a moron” defense in the wake of a scandal. In celebration of a goal against Veria last week, Katidis did a Nazi salute. It would be an outrage in any country but the Germans in World War II killed as many as 800,000 of his countrymen — though the precise number has been recently debated. He has now been banned from the national team.
Katidis’ teammates also appear unconcerned by the Nazi salute though Brazilian-born teammate, Roger Guerreiro, looked at him in surprise.
In the aftermath, 20-year-old Katidis insists that he was ignorant of the meaning of the salute. A grown man in a nation occupied by the Nazis had no idea what the salute meant? Really. I am not sure what is worse claiming to be a complete moron without any sense of history or being a fascist loving creep. I find the notion that Katidis never went to a World War II movie, let alone read a history book rather unbelievable.
This is not free speech issue. The team has every right to ban racist and offensive gestures, particularly in a country ravages by the Nazis.