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BC-BKO--Greece-Blatt

March 22, 2019
A prominent Jewish group is condemning remarks by a basketball commentator in Greece against Israeli-American coach David Blatt. After a game between rival Greek teams, commentator Vangelis Alexandris accused Blatt of lying “if you consider that he has Jewish blood.” World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer says “such expressions of anti-Semitism recall the darkest days of history.” Blatt is a former coach of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and now coaches Olympiakos.

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A prominent Jewish group has condemned remarks by a basketball commentator and former coach against Israeli-American coach David Blatt as “shameful” and anti-Semitic.

In a March 15 interview with a Greek sports website, Vangelis Alexandris accused Blatt of lying about the circumstances of a recent game between his club, Olympiakos, and archrival Panathinaikos. Alexandris was quoted as saying: “If you consider that he has Jewish blood, I believe he was lying.”

Responding to the remarks Thursday, World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer said: “Such expressions of anti-Semitism recall the darkest days of history.”

Blatt is a former coach of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and has coached Olympiakos since last June. The club received a six-point league penalty Friday for forfeiting a league game in February over a refereeing dispute.

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