Saturday, July 2nd 2022   |

Sports

Sandy Koufax honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium

By JACOB GURVIS

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — For Jewish sports fans around the world, Sandy Koufax has for decades occupied an unmatched legendary status. 

Now, 57 years after the Hall of Fame pitcher sat out a World Series game to observe Yom Kippur, Koufax has officially been immortalized with a statue at Dodger Stadium — next to his former teammate, Jackie Robinson.

The Los Angeles Dodgers unveiled the Koufax statue...

Stephen Curry wore a Hebrew sweatshirt at the NBA Finals

By JACOB GURVIS

(JTA) — Jews looking for a rooting interest in the concluding games of this year’s NBA Finals might have one now, thanks to a head-turning wardrobe choice from Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry.

No, Curry isn’t Jewish. But during Friday’s Game 4 postgame press conference, following a Warriors victory, he did don a Hebrew sweatshirt for the cameras — one that matches his own Hebrew tattoos.

...

Gabe Kapler is following in the footsteps of other Jewish activist athletes, from Hank Greenberg to Aly Raisman

By JACOB GURVIS

(JTA) — Gabe Kapler likes going against the grain.

The 46-year-old Jewish manager of the San Francisco Giants is relatively young for a professional coach. He’s active on social media and writes his own blog. He’s a fitness geek with a unique diet and very Jewish tattoos. ESPN recently deemed him “the most interesting man in baseball.”

And in 2020, amid racial justice protests across sports, Kapler...

A British soccer fan said his Nazi salute was a wave hello. Authorities weren’t buying it.

By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ

(JTA) — At first, 24-year-old Shay Asher claimed that a picture of him giving a Nazi salute at a soccer game in England last year was merely a misunderstanding.

Asher, a former fireman, told police who questioned him about the picture that he was merely waving to a friend during the match in Newcastle between Newcastle F.C. and the Tottenham Hot Spurs from London.

But police recommended...

Orthodox MLB draft pick Elie Kligman has a younger brother who could follow him to the big leagues

By ROB CHARRY

(JTA) — Some Jewish baseball fans know the name Elie Kligman, even though he’s just a freshman in college. That’s because last year he became one of the first two Orthodox Jewish players ever picked in a Major League Baseball draft. 

But virtually no one knows about Kligman’s younger brother — who has the potential to be as good or better than his sibling.

Ari Kligman is...

Red Sox release minor leaguer after social media attacks on Jewish executive Chaim Bloom

(JTA) — The Boston Red Sox released a minor league player following an antisemitic and homophobic social media outburst, in which he specifically targeted the organization’s chief baseball officer, Chaim Bloom, who is Jewish. 

Brett Netzer called Bloom a “fraud,” “an embarrassment to any torah-following jew” and attacked him for his support of Black Lives Matter and the LGBTQ community. Netzer also questioned Bloom’s Jewish identity.

In another bizarre tweet,...

Basketball player who converted to Judaism with a Conservative rabbi denied Israeli citizenship

By SHIRA HANAU

(JTA) — Jared Armstrong traveled to Israel on Birthright last year. He also spent months studying with an American Conservative rabbi in order to formally convert to Judaism, a step he wanted to take so he could move to Israel to play for the Hapoel Haifa basketball team.

That ambition suffered a serious setback Wednesday after Israeli officials for the second time rejected his application for citizenship.

According...

UK athlete who exposed racism in cricket revealed to have made antisemitic remarks

By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ

(JTA) — A Pakistan-born former professional cricket player from the United Kingdom who is known for protesting racism in sport has apologized for antisemitic remarks he had made in 2012.

Azeem Rafiq said that he is “deeply ashamed” for using antisemitic language in text messages which only recently surfaced. In the exchange, published Wednesday by The Times of London, Rafiq and a friend called a non-Jewish man...

For the new Jewish president of the Baseball Hall of Fame, it’s all about tradition

By JACOB GURVIS

(JTA) — Josh Rawitch’s day-to-day is similar to that of any nonprofit executive: He speaks to stakeholders, supervises senior staff and fundraises.

But in his line of work, stakeholders include people like Jewish baseball legend Sandy Koufax. Since September, Rawitch has served as president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. He is the eighth leader in the institution’s 82-year history.

...

A Jewish guide to the 2022 Australian Open

By EMILY BURACK

(JTA) — The Novak Djokovic COVID scandal may be stealing the headlines ahead of the Australian Open, which starts next week, but there are several Jewish players looking to win big at the year’s first Grand Slam.

Here they are:

MEN’S SINGLES TOURNAMENT

Does Diego have a path to victory?

Diego Schwartzman, seeded no. 13, is looking to make it past the fourth round of the Australian...