ESPN Removes Anti-Semitic Fantasy Football Leagues
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — One of the Internet’s most popular fantasy sports websites moved quickly Thursday to take down a number of football leagues with anti-Semitic mottos.
ESPN is in the process of removing several leagues from its fantasy football platform with names such as “Jews are Immoral” and “Jews Are Terrible”.
One league listed its motto as “Burn Jews Wherever Possible”, while another league titled “Jews love pennies” lists President Barack Obama as its creator.
“They may have been fantasy leagues, but the hate is all too real,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human rights organization.
Representatives of the Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and senior ESPN officials were in contact late Wednesday and said the process of removing the offensive material is underway.
One of the leagues targeted a Jewish father who was in the process of signing up his son for a fantasy football team, Cooper said.
ESPN officials were quick to denounce the leagues.
“Offensive hate speech have absolutely no place on our site,” Vice President of Communications Josh Krulewitz said in an email. “While we have systems in place to minimize the possibility for inappropriate team and league names, clearly with millions of users and deceptive ways around the safeguards, we can never completely eliminate it.”