ESPN takes down anti-Semitic named fantasy football teams

Move comes after request by Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, head of the Digital Terrorism and Hate Project.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
September 12, 2011 04:58
1 minute read.
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Football 311. (photo credit: Rick Blumsack)

 
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ESPN is moving quickly to remove anti-Semitic leagues from its Fantasy Football following an approach from the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

The names “Jews are Immoral,” another “Jews Are Terrible,” with banners and mottos reading “Burn Jews Wherever Possible”, still another league, “Jews love pennies” lists President Obama as its creator.

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“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 said.

Wiesenthal Center and senior ESPN officials were in contact last week and the process of removing the offensive material has begun.

An email from ESPN’s Vice President of Communications, Josh Krulewitz stated in part: “...offensive hate speech like the examples discussed here, have absolutely no place on our site.

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“While we have systems in place to minimize the possibility for inappropriate team and league names, clearly with millions of users and deceptive ways around the safeguards, we can never completely eliminate it. We very much appreciate when it’s brought to our attention like you did in this case, and when it is, we pledge to move swiftly to address each case.”

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