Israeli basketball player suspended for calling rival ‘Nazi’


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Guy Pnini of the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team was suspended indefinitely and stripped of his captaincy after calling an opposing player a “Nazi.”

Pnini also was fined more than $26,000 for his trash talk directed at Jonathan Skjodebrand of rival Hapoel Tel Aviv during a game Sunday night.

Pnini was caught on camera shouting at Skjodebrand, a blond Israeli of Swedish descent, “You piece of garbage, bastard, German Nazi … cancer in your head, your father should die.” Skjodebrand did not respond.

After the game, Hapoel Tel Aviv filed a complaint with the Israel Basketball Association, which also will discipline Pnini.

Pnini apologized for his court behavior.

“I apologize to Jonathan and his family and to Maccabi Tel Aviv, my teammates and any sports fan who was offended by what I said,” he said. “I would also like to apologize to my family who are Holocaust survivors. I’m ashamed of myself and of the way I acted.”

Fans of the Hapoel Tel Aviv soccer team in March sang Holocaust songs during a match with Maccabi Tel Aviv, according to reports, and also have done so during basketball games.

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