ADL Accepts Apology of New York Knicks Player Charlie Ward; Stresses Importance of Education
New York, NY, April 24, 2001 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today
accepted the apology of New York Knicks player Charlie Ward for his insensitive
and anti-Semitic remarks, saying the episode "shows the need for continuing
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
We accept Charlie Ward’s apology. Mr. Ward acknowledges he made a
mistake and has indicated that he is now willing to explore his beliefs with
Jewish religious leaders to perhaps better understand why his remarks about
Jews and Judaism were so deeply offensive. We hope that Mr. Ward will also
consider meetings with mainstream Christian leaders, along with Jewish
leaders, who can explain why his beliefs are part of historic myths that
have been used to fuel anti-Semitism for centuries.
This episode should not have happened. The fact that it did shows the need
for continuing education, especially among professional athletes, about the
diverse religious beliefs and traditions of our society. As role models for
young people, the players hold a responsibility to exhibit the hallmarks of
respect, sportsmanship and professionalism both on and off the field.
Professional sports, which mirror larger society with players from different
religious and ethnic backgrounds, are no place for ethnic intolerance or
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.