September 8, 2011
'They May Have Been Fantasy Leagues but the hate is all too real'
At the urging of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, ESPN is moving quickly to remove anti-Semitic leagues from their online Fantasy Football leagues. The names; "Jews are Immoral" and "Jews Are Terrible" (see screenshot - click to see larger image), with banners and mottos reading "Burn Jews Wherever Possible" and, “Jews love pennies” lists President Obama as its creator.
"They may have been Fantasy Leagues, but the hate is all too real," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish Human Rights organization. Rabbi Cooper who heads up the Center's Digital Terrorism and Hate Project, added, "This is another example of bigots leveraging Internet portals to demean their 'enemies' and recruit for their causes. Unfortunately, the targeted enemy in this case was a Jewish father who was about to sign up his son to ESPN Fantasy Football," Cooper added.
Wiesenthal Center and senior ESPN Officials were in contact late yesterday and the process of removing the offensive material has begun. "ESPN responded quickly and in good faith to our concerns and we trust that ESPN will take all the necessary steps to make it as diffcult as possible for any racist or anti-Semite to leverage their popular site," Cooper concluded.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).
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