Wayne Hennessey ‘desperate’ to learn about Nazis – Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson
Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey is “desperate” to learn about Adolf Hitler and World War Two after being accused of making a Nazi salute, says Eagles manager Roy Hodgson.
The Wales international, 32, was charged by the Football Association (FA) for making an offensive gesture.
However, the case was not proven after Hennessey told an FA panel he did not know what a Nazi salute was.
Hodgson says a lack of knowledge about the period could be “rife” in football.
The FA panel found Hennessey showed a “lamentable degree of ignorance” about Adolf Hitler, fascism and the Nazi regime.
“He is actually very desperate now to learn as much as he can,” Hodgson said.
Hennessey was pictured with his right arm in the air and left hand above his mouth in a photo posted on Instagram by German team-mate Max Meyer after Palace’s FA Cup win over Grimsby on 5 January.
Hennessey denied the charge and said any resemblance to the Nazi gesture was “absolutely coincidental”.
The charge was found not proven after two members of the three-man panel believed the photograph had been “misinterpreted” and that Hennessey had been “trying to shout at and to catch the attention of the waiter”.
The keeper had claimed he “waved and shouted at the person taking the picture to get on with it” and “put my hand over my mouth to make the sound carry”.
He submitted photographs to the panel of him making similar gestures during matches to attract the attention of team-mates.
Hennessey said “from the outset” of the hearing that he did not know what a Nazi salute was.
Hodgson, 71, said: “I don’t quite know what the young generation is learning about it.
“What is important in that report is that they made it perfectly clear they found Wayne a very honest and kind and good individual.”
He said the club would be working with football anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out to improve education not just for Hennessey but for any team-mates who needed to learn about the period.
“We and Kick It Out work very closely together and between us I think we will be looking for a solution in the case of this one individual, but 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.”