Sports

Larry Johnson, former Kansas City Chiefs running back, tweets that Jews are involved in sex trafficking, pedophilia and more

Kansas Chiefs running back Larry Johnson carries the ball during the game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, Oct. 4, 2009. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Larry Johnson, a former running back who played seven seasons for the Kansas City Chiefs, tweeted multiple times to his more than 147,000 followers over the weekend that a Jewish “cabal” is involved in “Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking, Pedophilia, Ritualistic Child Torture, Perversion, Human Sacrifice/Murder.” And on… Read more »

SF Giants’ first home game blessed by seafaring ‘Rally Rabbi’

Rabbi Yosef Langer on a yacht before the San Francisco Giants’ home opener, July 28, 2020. (Gabriel Greschler)

(J. the Jewish News of Northern California via JTA) — While the ballpark Tuesday night at the San Francisco Giants’ home opener may not have been filled with fans because of COVID-19 restrictions, nearby McCovey Cove had a familiar guest. Standing on a 75-foot yacht docked in a part… Read more »

What Hank Greenberg’s friendship with Jackie Robinson can teach us today

From left: Jackie Robinson in 1945 (Hulton Archive/Getty Images); Hank Greenberg (Getty Images); Zach Banner (Katharine Lotze/Getty Images); and DeSean Jackson (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Zach Banner posted a video late last week in response to Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson’s anti-Semitic screed against Jews. After describing his horror at the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, Banner preached that as important as the work of Black… Read more »

Zach Banner wants to team up to fight hate. He’s also looking forward to lots of Shabbat dinners (after COVID-19).

Zach Banner after a game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa, Fla., Sept. 24, 2018. (Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle via JTA) — Just two days after Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson posted an anti-Semitic message he attributed to Adolf Hitler on social media, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Zach Banner came to the defense of the Jewish community. In a series of tweets and videos,… Read more »

Jewish NFL players say education, not ‘cancellation,’ is the right response to DeSean Jackson’s anti-Semitic posts

Jewish football players participated in an online conversation July 12, 2013. Clockwise from upper left: Anthony Firkser, conversation organizer Michael Neuman, Geoff Schwartz and Greg Joseph. (Screenshot from virtual event)

(JTA) — Former professional football player Geoff Schwartz wasn’t surprised when he heard about Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson’s anti-Semitic Instagram posts. “I just thought to myself it’s ignorance — someone who has no idea whatsoever what anti-Semitism is, why his quote could be hurtful to Jews, or… Read more »

Jewish NFL star Mitch Schwartz embraces his inner chef during coronavirus quarantine

Mitchell Schwartz is having some fun, with food, off the gridiron. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images; Mitchell Schwartz/Instagram)

(JTA) — Fresh off his Super Bowl win in February, Kansas City Chiefs lineman Mitchell Schwartz took a vacation with his wife, Brooke, to St. Lucia. Little did they know that when they returned, they would be spending the next few months holed up at home because of the… Read more »

Meet Mitchell Schwartz, the Jewish Kansas City Chiefs lineman heading to Super Bowl LIV

Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz enters the game against the Tennessee Titans at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Jan. 19, 2020. (William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(JTA) — Kansas City Chiefs lineman Mitchell Schwartz does more than start for perhaps the best offense in the NFL. The 6-5, 320-pound tackle is a star at his position and has been for much of his eight-year career since turning pro following a standout career at the University… Read more »

Diego Schwartzman and the outsized power of Jewish representation in sports

Diego Schwartzman, listed at 5-7 but probably shorter, is congratulated by Alexander Zverev, who stands 6-6, at the 2019 U.S. Open. Schwartzman defeated Zverev in the fourth round. (Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

This article originally appeared on Alma. I was never the best tennis player. Nor was I particularly good at soccer, basketball or any other sport my parents signed me up for. Still, I stuck with tennis through my junior year of high school, when I was unceremoniously cut from the… Read more »

Israel’s Olympic baseball team preps for Tokyo and looks to expand the sport

Team Israel players Danny Valencia, left, and Jeremy Bleich with students at the Hand in Hand Galilee School in Eshbal, Israel, Jan. 16, 2020. (Hillel Kutler)

MISGAV, Israel (JTA) – As more than 20 men wearing blue-and-white baseball uniforms walked along Tel Aviv’s bustling Allenby Street on a recent Tuesday, a motorcyclist called out in Hebrew and English. “Good luck! We’re behind you!” the man shouted to the group, members of the baseball team that… Read more »

Amar’e Stoudemire is now an undergrad, goes to his campus Hillel and wants to boost black-Jewish relations

Amar'e Stoudemire is leading an initiative to connect Jewish and African-American students at Florida International University. (Courtesy of FIU Hillel)

(JTA) — Despite his serious thoughts about an NBA comeback, Amar’e Stoudemire is taking a little break from basketball to go to school. The former six-time NBA All-Star, who had never attended college, started this fall as a freshman at Florida International University in Miami. Though the semester just… Read more »

Tucson teens make friends and win big at JCC Maccabi Games in Atlanta

With a cowboy as their logo for the 2019 JCC Maccabi Games, Team Tucson galloped out at the July 28 opening ceremonies in Atlanta to the song “Old Town Road.” From left: Grant Cohen (front), Gabe Green, Pasha Maher (basketball coach), Elijah Nogales,Josh Shenker (delegation head), and Gianna Miltenberger

Tucson’s team for the annual JCC Maccabi Games for Jewish teens, held July 28-Aug. 2 in Atlanta, was “small but mighty” with four athletes, says Josh Shenker, delegation head and director of children, youth and camping services at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. “Though we were the smallest delegation… Read more »

Local player helps Team USA bring home Maccabi gold

Cody Blumenthal (back row, center, in white) played point guard for Team USA at the July Maccabi Pan American games in Mexico City. Team USA won gold over Team Israel (in blue) by 20 points.

Cody Blumenthal brought home a gold medal from his participation on the age 18 and under Team USA basketball team at the 14th Pan American Maccabi Games in Mexico City, July 5-15. “Winning gold with my new best friends was the best feeling in the world,” he says. Every… Read more »

Arizonan earns pride in grueling Maccabi competition

David Tannenbaum approaches the finish line at about 28 MPH at the Maccabi Pan American Games in Mexico City. (Michelle [email protected])

David Tannenbaum of Hereford, Arizona, was the sole bicycling competitor in Team USA’s Master Division at the 2019 Maccabi Pan American Games in Mexico City, July 5-15.  He finished in eighth-place in the 55-59 year age group, receiving a medal for completing all three races. “That makes me the… Read more »

Gymnast Agnes Keleti survived the Holocaust to win 10 Olympic medals. At 98, she’s as feisty as ever.

Agnes Keleti, in her mid-90s, performs a split in front of young Hungarian gymnasts in Budapest, Jan. 16, 2016. (Peter Kohalmi/AFP/Getty Images)

BUDAPEST (JTA) — When journalists ask Agnes Keleti about her health, she gently smiles and slowly extends her right hand in apparent gratitude for the question. Keleti yanks anyone who is foolish enough to grasp her hand with enough force to throw them off their balance. Then she replies:… Read more »