The former owner of Crystal Palace has said that there was “no reason” why Wayne Hennessey would not have known what he was doing after being pictured making a gesture similar to a Nazi salute.
Mr Hennessey, a Crystal Palace goalkeeper, will not face any punishment after a Football Association panel ruled that the 32-year-old did not know what a Nazi salute was.
The club’s former boss Simon Jordan told talkRADIO’s Matthew Wright: “They get a lot of education. This sort of situation dismayed me because it perpetuates the myth that all footballers are stupid, unaware and insulated from the real world.”
He added: “Footballers are educated so there is no reason why someone should not know it.”
The FA's regulatory commission said the player showed a "lamentable degree of ignorance" about Adolf Hitler, fascism and the Nazi regime.
However, Mr Jordan called the case “perplexing”.
He said: “In this instance, it is perplexing why a man of this age, this experience, this travelled – who has played in Germany – would not be conversant with something that has the connotations of the things that he has been alleged to have done.”
He added: “It is very difficult for the FA panel to see inside the mind of someone but I approach this with reservation that he did – or did not – know about the connotations of what he is doing.
If he did not know it then it is a shocking indictment of himself.”
Hennessey said 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.