Wednesday, June 16th 2021   |

Sports

NFL’s San Francisco 49ers pick a Jew of color to lead their diversity efforts

By GABE STUTMAN

(J. the Jewish News of Northern California via JTA) — Though she calls herself an “art kid” at her core, Christina Jefferson is no stranger to contact sports.

Recently hired by the San Francisco 49ers to lead the NFL team’s diversity and inclusion efforts — a newly created position — Jefferson has a long history with a quite different, yet still bruising, athletic pursuit: roller derby.

In...

David Cohen is a longshot to become the 1st Jewish jockey to win the Kentucky Derby. But he’s beaten long odds before.

By ROB CHARRY

(JTA) – The odds are long that David Cohen can become the first Jewish jockey to win a Kentucky Derby.

Cohen’s horse, Keepmeinmind, is a 50-1 shot in the early line for Saturday’s Triple Crown race at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

But don’t bet against the 36-year-old rider, who has won some 1,560 races and earned nearly $60 million in a career that launched in 2004: His...

Iran’s judo team suspended from international matches until 2023 for refusing to face Israeli opponents

(JTA) — The Iranian national judo team was suspended from international competition until September 2023 for forfeiting matches against Israeli opponents due to a boycott.

The decision extends an ongoing suspension of the Iran Judo Federation that began in 2019, according to a statement from the International Judo Federation. In March, the international group said it would drop the suspension if Iran guaranteed it would allow its judokas to fight...

Julian Edelman, star Jewish wide receiver for New England Patriots, announces retirement

By MIKE BRODSKY

(JTA) — Julian Edelman, the New England Patriots wide receiver who has shown his Jewish pride on a number of occasions, will retire following a stellar 11-year career in which he won Most Valuable Player in Super Bowl LIII.

Edelman, who played in only six games last year due to a chronic knee injury, had his contract terminated Monday by the Patriots in a procedural move, ESPN...

Team Israel alumnus Sam Fuld brings his analytics and people skills to new role as Philadelphia Phillies GM

By ROB CHARRY

(JTA) – Sam Fuld, the new general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, says he’s just getting acquainted with one of his predecessors in the job, Ruben Amaro Jr., now a broadcaster for the club.

Their paths to the post are similar: Both have Jewish roots, attended Stanford and had an eight-year major league playing career.

“We’ve gotten to know each other a little bit,” Fuld said. “I’ve...

Diego Schwartzman becomes emotional after finally winning hometown Argentina Open

(JTA) — Diego Schwartzman, the 28-year-old Jewish tennis star, won his hometown Argentina Open on Sunday for the first time, beating a countryman in the final.

The top-seeded Schwartzman, who grew up in Buenos Aires, defeated unseeded Francisco Cerundulo in straight sets to win the $24,400 champion’s share. It was the first time a local player had won the tournament in 13 years.

“I’m very happy, I wanted to play...

Diego Schwartzman loses in third round upset at Australian Open

(JTA) — Argentine Jewish tennis star Diego Schwartzman lost in a surprising upset to Russian Aslan Karatsev in the third round of the Australian Open, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.

At last year’s Australian Open, Schwartzman lost in the fourth round to eventual winner Novak Djokovic.

Schwartzman, who entered the top 10 for the first time in his career this past fall and played in last year’s ATP Finals, was seeded 8...

‘The ways of Torah are peaceful’: Why football presents a dilemma for American Jews

By GABE FRIEDMAN

(JTA) — Rabbi Josh Feigelson remembers the moment that football lost its magic for him.

It was Oct. 20, 2013, and Feigelson was eating dinner with his family at Ken’s Diner, a kosher restaurant in Skokie, the Chicago suburb where they live. A TV was playing a football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Cleveland Browns.

Feigelson, who grew up in the football-crazed college town...

Israeli teen Deni Avdija goes to Washington Wizards with 9th pick of NBA Draft, making history

By MARC BRODSKY

(JTA) — Deni Avdija, the 19-year-old Israeli basketball phenom, was taken by the Washington Wizards with the ninth overall pick of the NBA Draft on Wednesday night – the earliest an Israeli has been picked in league history.

Avdija, a lanky 6-9 forward for Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel’s top professional league, becomes the second player from the Jewish state to go in the first round. Omri...

Israel’s cycling team notches first-ever stage win at one of the sport’s biggest races

(JTA) — An Israeli professional cycling team won a stage of one of the three major international races for the first time ever on Saturday.

Alex Dowsett won Stage 8 of the Giro d’Italia for Team Israel Start-Up Nation, which was established in 2015 and joined the highest level of professional cycling only last year.

The Giro d’Italia is one of cycling’s three prestigious Grand Tour races, along with the...