A former US National Women’s Soccer League player was reportedly caught on camera flashing a ‘Hitler salute’ and shouting ‘Heil Hitler’ at pro-Israel protesters in Los Angeles. Stefany Ferrer Van Ginkel, a former player for the Angel City Football Club in Los Angeles, was seen making the “Sieg Heil” salute from the passenger seat of a vehicle.
A video posted online by the watchdog group StopAntisemitism captured the incident. The video captured Ferrer Van Ginkel seated in the passenger seat of a car, which was reportedly driven by her boyfriend, Samim Haydari, a player for the United City Football Club, as reported by KTLA. The video has since gone viral.
Video footage depicts Ferrer Van Ginkel extending her hand out of the window toward the protestors during a rally on Sunday night, making an anti-Semitic gesture.
“Shame on you,” the demonstrators at the Beverly Hills rally shouted at her after she made the gesture. The events leading up to the recording are not evident in the video.
The video was shared by the watchdog group StopAntiSemitism on Monday and has accumulated almost 20,000 views.
The duo issued an apology late on Monday that was posted on social media. However, the clip has since been removed or deleted.
Ferrer Van Ginkel, a 25-year-old from Brazil, played in Angel City FC’s debut season in 2022, as reported by KTLA. However, her contract was not renewed at the end of the year.
The soccer club criticized the behavior of its former player in a released statement.
“Stefany Ferrer Van Ginkel does not play for Angel City Football Club, nor has she been affiliated with the club since November 2022. We condemn her recent actions and statements,” the team said.
In the video apology, Haydari “I know we have approached the situation with hate and made it worse with our actions,” Haydari says in the clip. “We acted childish … All we can do is become better [and] learn a lesson from this. We cannot change the past.”
Ferrer Van Ginkel did not speak in the video, the news outlet reported.
Ferrer Van Ginkel played college soccer for West Virginia from 2017 to 2021. She played as a midfielder for the Angel City Football Club during their inaugural 2022 season. According to Just Women’s Sports, she played in two Challenge Cup matches and two regular-season matches.
However, her contract with the National Women’s Soccer League team was not extended for the 2023 season, as reported by the sports publication.
The Nazis used the hand gesture as a salute paying tribute to Adolf Hitler, the leader of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, also known as the Nazis.
During the Second World War, the Nazis slaughtered around six million Jews throughout Europe. The Holocaust Encyclopedia refers to the genocide as the Holocaust.
Pro-Israeli demonstrations have taken place throughout the country on Tuesday, the one-month anniversary of the Israel-Hamas conflict.
The Palestinian militant group Hamas launched an unprecedented onslaught on Israel on October 7, killing 1,400 innocent citizens, including infants, children, and the elderly, and kidnapping 240 more, who are currently being held captive.