Two Australian Rules football players were fined and one was convicted in an anti-Semitic attack.
In the sentencing Thursday of James Dalton and Matthew Cuthbert, Melbourne Magistrate Julian Fitzgerald described the attack on Orthodox Jewish businessman Menachem Vorchheimer last year as “criminal, hurtful, insensitive, ignorant and, at its base, racist and anti-Semitic.”
Dalton, 28, the captain of the Ocean Grove Football Club, was fined $1,000 for offensive behavior but was spared a conviction, meaning the incident will not go on the police record. Dalton snatched Vorchheimer’s black hat and kipah.
Cuthbert, 24, his teammate, was convicted of using insulting words and fined $750. He already had two prior convictions for drunk driving.
The players were on a bus returning from a day of drinking at a horse racing carnival when they shouted epithets at Vorchheimer, 33, walking home from synagogue with his two young children. Vorchheimer chased the bus and was punched in the eye by one of the players.
The B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission said the ruling was a “fair and balanced,” but criticized the club for failing to reveal the identity of the player who assaulted Vorchheimer.
Vorchheimer, the son of Holocaust survivors, was so traumatized by the incident that he temporarily moved his wife and children to New York.
Earlier this year, a third player was fined nearly $1,000 for shouting “Go Nazis” at him.