June 13, 2011

FIBA, FIFA & (lots of) FUFU

"ADL urges FIBA to rethink 'discriminatory' uniform policy" against an Israeli national team player (see below), but NSR urges ADL to re-prioritize its concerns.

It was only last week that the Iranian women's soccer team was disqualified by the international football association (FIFA) because the players' Islamic headscarves violated the association's dress code.

As long as international associations are consistent in applying and enforcing their dress codes, then it's up to the individual teams of each country, which participate in FIBA (or FIFA), to provide their players with uniforms that do not violate the associations' dress codes.

At a time when:

  • Israel is facing boycotts, sanctions, divestments, book-burnings, blockade-busting flotillas and every nasty thing you can think of by groups around the world;
  • Synagogues and Jewish sites are being targeted and burned by the so-called lovers of peace, whom we, in America, have become all too acquainted with; and
  • Latent anti-Semitism has morphed into blatant, widely-accepted anti-Semitism, throughout Europe and on our own college/university campuses; it really necessary to go after FIBA's dress code (or folks like Pat Robertson and his Christian evangelical network, whom Foxman recently went after for making accurate, but clumsily-worded comments about Muslims and sharia law in Europe)?

Pick your battles, Mr. Foxman, and stop following the Obama doctrine of embracing your enemies and distancing your allies.

The Jerusalem Post  |  June 13, 2011

ADL urges FIBA to rethink 'discriminatory' uniform policy

By Jerusalem Post Sports Staff

Israeli national team player Naama Shafir has been forbidden to wear a T-shirt under her uniform; says she will not play if cannot dress modestly.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) had a meeting over the weekend with the international governing body for basketball in which it urged the organization to reverse its decision prohibiting an orthodox Jewish athlete from wearing a T-shirt under her jersey during an upcoming tournament.

To abide with Jewish rules of modesty for women, Israeli national team player Naama Shafir normally wears a T-shirt under her basketball uniform. However, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) for Europe said wearing the T-shirt would violate its uniform policy and it would not make an exception, thus preventing Shafir from participating in the European women's basketball championship, which opens June 18 in Poland.

"The decision to prohibit a Jewish player from wearing a T-shirt under her jersey is insensitive and discriminatory," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director

"Naama Shafir wears a T-shirt when competing in the NCAA in America, and there is no reason she shouldn't be allowed to wear one in this tournament.

The shirt does not interfere with the game and FIBA should make an effort to accommodate this religious value."

In a letter to FIBA President Yvan Mainini and FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann, ADL urged the group to "take a stand against discrimination and reverse its decision."

The League also shared its concerns with NBA Commissioner David Stern and with USA Basketball.

"This application of your rules concerning uniforms has the direct consequence of excluding orthodox Jewish and other religious women from playing in FIBA-sanctioned events," the letter said.

"In addition to likely contravening a number of international and United States legal prohibitions on religious discrimination, the decision stands in stark contrast to FIBA's positioning itself as an agent of 'global peace, friendship and sportsmanship' in its Basketball without Borders program.

"The decision appears to be without foundation and has the consequence of deeply troubling and possibly unlawful discrimination."

The matter is ongoing, with the Israeli team trying to work with FIBA to come up with a amicable solution within the framework of the rules.

Shafir, who hails from the town of Hoshaya in northern Israel, has said she will not compromise her religious beliefs and will not play with her shoulders bare.

In April, Shafir scored 40 points to lead the University of Toledo to victory in the final game of the 2011 Women's National Invitational Tournament, the school's first ever postseason tournament championship. She has been able to wear a T-shirt under her jersey for her collegiate games.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

Original article here.


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