Cricket player banned for anti-Semitism

A Melbourne cricket player who created a Web page encouraging anti-Semitic slurs has been banned from the sport for eight years and expelled from his club.

Ash Peake, who played for the McKinnon Cricket Club, was found guilty this week by the Victorian Turf Cricket Association of breaching racial vilification laws for his page on Facebook, a social networking site. Peake encouraged anti-Semitic slurs against a Jewish cricket club.

Four other cricketers who posted anti-Semitic comments on the page – called FU AJAX Cricket Club – were suspended for between two and 18 months. A sixth cricketer, who has visited the Jewish Holocaust Museum and issued an apology, is overseas and will face the tribunal upon his return.

The Web page, which was created in June but has been taken down, encouraged people who were “sick of the appalling arrogance and antics of the Maccabi Ajax Cricket Club” to comment “without fear of censorship.” A cricketer from another club referred to his German grandparents who “tried to get them all.”

Maccabi Ajax Cricket Club president Jamie Hyams told the Australian Jewish News this week that the sentences were “harsh but fair.”

“They show that the VTCA takes this matter very seriously, and we are very happy with the way both the VTCA and the McKinnon Cricket Club have handled these issues,” Hyams said.

The B’nai B’rth Anti-Defamation Commission described the Facebook page as a “blatant and vile anti-Semitic incident” and urged an investigation.

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