Several decades on from Tommie Smith and John Carlos’s iconic Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, sociologists such as Douglas Hartmann and Ben Carrington argue that contemporary debates about sport, race, and protest are becoming ever more complicated. Within this context, the quenelle salute given by footballer Nicolas Anelka whilst playing for West Bromwich Albion in December 2013 merits analysis. The controversial and complicated gesture led to disciplinary action from the Football Association and his club, and ultimately to the end of his playing career. Due to its association with controversial French comedian Dieudonné, the quenelle is widely seen as anti-Semitic, although some argue that it is merely anti-system. Despite this potential ambiguity, it will be shown that the quenelle remains a protest gesture. In order to interpret Anelka’s actions, it is important to examine the quenelle’s roots and when he performed the gesture. Such analysis needs to be placed within the context of contemporary footballers’ engagement (or lack of engagement) with socio-political issues, and provides a means of assessing the relationship between football, politics, and protest in contemporary Europe.