UK & World News

  • 4 December 2012, 21:39

Israel: Basketballer Suspended For 'Nazi' Slur

An Israeli professional basketball team has suspended its captain after he called a fellow player a Nazi.

Maccabi Tel Aviv also stripped Guy Pnini of the captaincy and fined him more than 16,000 after he lashed out at Jonathan Skjoldebrand of local rivals Hapoel Tel Aviv during a match.

The club acted after Pnini was caught on a television camera shouting: "You piece of garbage, b******, German Nazi ... cancer in your head, your father should die."

Skjoldebrand, a blonde Swedish-born Israeli, did not react during the game but told his team afterwards and they made a formal complaint.

Local media reported Skjoldebrand as saying: "At first I thought I didn't hear well, but he simply repeated himself over and over.

"I didn't want to answer him and make a big deal about it during the game, but it was humiliating and disrespectful. That's how the Maccabi captain talks?"

Pnini said he had reacted after Skjoldebrand had physically and verbally taunted him during the game.

In a tearful interview, he also said that his remarks had offended his relatives as many of his extended family had died during the Holocaust.

"I'm ashamed of myself and the way I acted," he said in a statement on Maccabi Tel Aviv's website. "I will do everything to make up for the mistake I made."

The first Tel Aviv derby in six years saw Maccabi beat Hapoel 91-72.

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