ADL Praises Albany Patroons For Suspending Former NBA All-Star For Anti-Semitic Remarks
Update: On March 30, 2007, Coach Micheal Ray Richardson issued an apology to anyone offended by his statements: "In an attempt to compliment and express my deep respect for Jewish people, I inadvertently fell into anti-Semitic stereotyping," he said, adding that he would work with ADL "to become more sensitive and to demonstrate my strong affection for people of all backgrounds."
New York, NY, March 29, 2007 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today commended the Albany Patroons for their decision to suspend former NBA All-Star Micheal Ray Richardson from his coaching job pending the outcome of an investigation into his alleged anti-Semitic comments.
Richardson, who once played with the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets, was quoted in an interview as saying he had hired "big-time Jew lawyers," to handle contract negotiations. He went on to describe Jews as "real crafty."
"Listen, they are hated all over the world, so they've got to be crafty," Richardson reportedly said. "They got a lot of power in this world, you know what I mean? Which I think is great. I don't think there's nothing wrong with it. If you look in most professional sports, they're run by Jewish people. If you look at a lot of most successful corporations and stuff, more businesses, they're run by Jewish. It's not a knock, but they are some crafty people."
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said: "The Albany Patroons did the right thing to suspend Micheal Ray Richardson and apologize for his remarks. Now Micheal Ray owes an apology to his fans and to the larger sports world. While he says he meant his remarks in a good way, Micheal Ray needs to understand that when he suggests that all Jews are crafty, that Jews have a lot of money and power, he is conjuring up classic anti-Semitic stereotypes.
"As role models, especially to young fans, basketball and sports celebrities bear a unique responsibility to watch their words both on and off the court, and to realize that bigoted words can have consequences in the everyday world. We hope that Micheal Ray will realize the pain his words have caused to many people and make clear that he understands why his remarks about Jews were so inappropriate and offensive."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.