Ben Wenger, a member of the Israeli baseball team which is about to play its first Olympic match ever (against South Korea), on Thursday apologized on behalf of his teammates to everyone who was offended by the video they posted to Tik Tok where they broke a cardboard bed in their room in the Olympic Village in Tokyo.
Wegner apologized for the video in which the team tested the resilience of the bed with nine players jumping on one of them, directing his apology was especially at their Japanese hosts.
“נראה כמה ישראלים צריך כדי לשבור את אחת ממיטות הקרטון”: סרטון טיקטוק שהעלה שחקן נבחרת הבייסבול של ישראל לטוקיו 2020, בן ווגנר, מראה את שחקני הנבחרת “בוחנים” את עמידות המיטות בכפר האולימפי, כשהם קופצים על אחת המיטות בחדר עד שהיא נשברתpic.twitter.com/ATfDU70lww
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news)
The social networks were full of angry reactions from Japanese surfers who attacked the Israeli team on Wednesday. “Why did they come? Get out of Japan, you idiots,” one user exclaimed. Another posted: “Barbarians, go back to Israel quickly.” Another Japanese user tweeted: “The Olympics just started at such a difficult time, why did you have to break a bed? Too bad and sad to see.”
The Israeli players (who mostly hail from the US) decided to challenge the Olympic bed which was described by the organizers as a device to discourage romance in the Olympic village because it was designed to collapse under the weight of more than one adult. The reason for discouraging romance has to do with the Covid-19 pandemic which is raging in Japan these days and is the reason all the Olympic events are being played in empty stadiums.
By the way, it’s clear from the fact that they put nine players on the bed that the games are being played with National League rules (the American League uses a tenth player, the designated hitter).
Israel is ranked last of the six baseball teams playing in the Tokyo Games this year. The team the Israelis meet Thursday, South Korea, defeated Cuba 3-2 for the gold in Beijing in 2008.
On Friday, the Israelis play the US, but the American team features no major league player because, you know, it’s baseball season in America. The other teams are the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Japan—which is expected by many to win the gold.
The Israeli team’s star is second baseman Ian Kinsler, 39, a four-time major league All-Star. He retired from the majors in 2020 and received his Israeli citizenship in time to qualify for the Olympics.
One Israeli pitcher works for City Winery in Manhattan, another pitcher is an investment analyst for Goldman Sachs.