Hennessey showed 'lamentable ignorance' of Hitler and Nazism
Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was deemed to have a "lamentable" degree of ignorance about Adolf Hitler and fascism by the panel that cleared him of a Football Association (FA) charge for an alleged Nazi salute.
Wales international Hennessey was charged by the FA after a photograph showing him with his right arm raised and left hand placed over his mouth was posted to Instagram by his Palace team-mate Max Meyer in January.
Hennessey denied knowingly making the gesture and a hearing in April found the charges against the goalkeeper not proven.
The written reasons released on Tuesday explained why Hennessey did not receive any punishment following the incident.
"Mr Hennessey categorically denied that he was giving a Nazi salute. Indeed, from the outset he said that he did not even know what one was," said the document.
"Improbable as that may seem to those of us of an older generation, we do not reject that assertion as untrue.
"In fact, when cross-examined about this Mr Hennessey displayed a very considerable – one might even say lamentable – degree of ignorance about anything to do with Hitler, fascism and the Nazi regime.
"Regrettable though it may be that anyone should be unaware of so important a part of our own and world history, we do not feel we should therefore find he was not telling the truth about this.
"All we would say (at the risk of sounding patronising) is that Mr Hennessey would be well advised to familiarise himself with events which continue to have great significance to those who live in a free country."
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
moment by the camera this looks like I am making a completely inappropriate type of salute. I can assure everyone I would never ever do that and any resemblance to that kind of gesture is absolutely coincidental. Love and peace Wayne— Wayne Hennessey (@WayneHennessey1) January 6, 2019
The written reasons also noted Meyer, who is German, would "hardly be likely" to have posted the photograph to Instagram had he felt Hennessey was giving a Nazi salute.
Meyer was among those who gave evidence, along with Hennessey's manager Roy Hodgson and Palace players Connor Wickham, James McArthur, Julian Speroni, Martin Kelly and Wilfried Zaha.