Scratch the surface and watch the scum rise to the top.
The New York-based Anti-Defamation League has issued what amounts to an Internet “flash flood alert” over an outpouring of anti-Semitism aimed at Israeli American NBA Head Coach David Blatt.
The Cleveland Cavaliers front office dismissed Blatt five days ago — a coach with a winning record — and the move brought out all the vultures, particularly those with an anti-Semitic bent.
On its blog, the ADL warned readers Tuesday of an “outpouring” of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel hatred on social media in the wake of Blatt’s dismissal.
Despite having led his team to victory in the Eastern Division and to the Finals, Blatt was handed his walking papers on Friday, January 22 by general manager David Griffin, backed up by owner Dan Gilbert, for being “disconnected.”
An odd thing to say about a coach who was able to get a team to come up with a 30-11 season. By the time he was fired he had reached an 83-40 game record — a 73.2% winning percentage that is the highest for a head coach at the time of his firing in major pro sports history.
Blatt is the first coach to be fired with the best record in his conference, according to ESPN. But apparently what matters more to his detractors is the fact that he is Jewish and made aliyah to Israel in 1981. Perhaps it also matters that he became one of the best coaches in history on the European continent before coming to coach in the NBA.
The ADL noted “some … personal attacks against Blatt, who holds both Israeli and American citizenship. Hostile verbal attacks on individuals for being Israeli citizens or supporters of Israel appear to have become more commonplace in recent years both online and offline as well, as some look to demonize the Jewish state in any way possible.”
The organization added that this is not the first time “such open hostility against Israelis or Jews in sports has been expressed in such an ugly fashion on social media,” citing examples going back as far as 2014 and 2013. In those cases as well, the anti-Semitism was expressed in posts on the Twitter social networking site.Hana Levi Julian