SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — A world surfing champion apologized for offending the Jewish community.
Mick Fanning, an Australian who won the world championship in 2007 and 2009, was quoted in the January-February issue of the surfing magazine Stab that came out last week as calling a reporter a "f—ing Jew."
"I don’t have or condone any form of racist or more particularly anti-Semitic view," the surfing champion said in a statement posted on his Web site.
The incident took place last December after Fanning won the 2009 title. Fanning apparently had been drinking and allegedly vented his anger because he did not like how the magazine sometimes denigrated the sport. The reporter, Charlie Smith, is not Jewish.
Fanning’s mother and manager, Elizabeth Osborne, told the Australian Jewish News this week, "He called him a f—ing Jew and he knows it was inappropriate, but he was quite intoxicated and he is really upset and devastated that it happened."
Fanning apparently was unaware he was speaking to a reporter, his mother claimed.
Vic Alhadeff, the chief executive of the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies, said Fanning had called him to apologize personally.
But he said the eight-page article in the surfing magazine, headlined "Tales of a F—ing Jew," inflamed the situation. The issue was withdrawn from circulation after a letter from Fanning’s attorney, according to The Australian.