Photo Credit: Lori Lowenthal Marcus
The security guard tried to bar Jews from the store, but instead the security guard was barred.

This is how it works, people.

When there is an incident of anti-Semitism, you don’t shuffle away quietly, you don’t say: “oh, it’s just one person he doesn’t represent the whole store,” and you don’t threaten to burn down the store. Instead, you do what the folks in the county of Hertfordshire, England did when their Jewish schoolchildren were barred from entering a sporting goods store and were told: “No Jews.”


At least one parent, David Rosen, went to the store management and complained. He told them that when his son and a friend, both of whom were wearing the school uniform of the nearby Yavneh College Jewish school, attempted to enter the Sports Direct store, they were barred by a security guard who said to them, “No Jews, no Jews.”

But, Rosen said, when other kids from the same school, but who were wearing coats over their school uniforms, sought to enter they were able to do so freely.

Hertfordshire is located in East Anglia, northeast of London.

The Sports Direct management investigated the situation and the security guard was both removed from his position at the store, and also fired from the security company by which he had been employed.

Rosen said that “the matter has been taken extremely seriously by Sports Direct at the highest managerial level. The area manager, in the first instance, acted swiftly to remove the security guard for the offensive remarks who, in turn, no longer works for the security company.”

“Simon Bentley, the senior independent director at Sports Direct, contacted me, and having thoroughly investigated the matter, apologized,” Rosen said, according to the Jewish Chronicle, England’s largest Jewish newspaper.

“The guard was deeply offensive and disrespectful to the school children. We take pride in the lack of prejudice amongst our trained staff and will not tolerate discrimination of any kind,” a Sports Direct manager told the Chronicle.

Of course there is no guarantee that every public establishment will respond as swiftly and thoroughly as did the Sports Direct management team, but ignoring the wrong will certainly not yield positive results.


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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email:


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