Bronx basketball coach breaks barriers following antisemitic comments from Kyrie Irving
After Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving was suspended for antisemitic comments last month, one Bronx basketball coach says he knew it was time to act.
Coach Marc Skelton organized a scrimmage between his public school Fannie Lou team and the Salanter Akiba Riverdale (SAR) Yeshiva team. Fannie Lou plays in the Public Schools Athletic League in the Bronx, while SAR high school looks to stay atop the Yeshiva league.
Although the scrimmage won't affect the standings, for some of the teammates, what happened in the final score wasn't the top priority.
"They're comparing and contrasting our beliefs from their beliefs, our religion from their religion," said Fannie Lou senior point guard Michael De La Cruz. "They're just normal people, they're not different from nothing."
After SAR senior point guard Akiva Schanzer helped his team to an over 30-point victory, he helped bring all the players to the same table for a Kosher meal, explaining what Kosher means and hoping this type of scrimmage can become more common.
"I've been playing in the Yeshiva league all these years, I've been playing against the same guys, this is good it spices it up a little bit," said Schanzer. "After this game like we could see each other randomly and like, that's my boys."
For Skelton, who is of Jewish descent, he wanted his team to support and learn first-hand about the Jewish community.
"We're almost unable to heal because it's almost tragedy after tragedy," said Skelton. "It's not enough to wear a T-shirt, it's not enough to write an essay or to teach about antisemitism."
Coach Skelton says he hopes these teams can meet again after the regular season.