Motti Sasson, mayor of Tel Aviv suburb Holon, caused a bit of a stir the other day when he referred to foreign b'ballers who play in Israel's Super League as "niggers".
Sasson may be forgiven his confusion; League rules permit four foreign players per team, so playing in Israel is a viable option for US kids who don't quite have NBA mojo but are still among the best of the best anywhere.
Sasson was quick to apologize when called on his faux pas, but the story reminds me of an episode with my pal Kipling's mom a few years ago...
Quite a few. Cable TV was a relatively new thing, and the old girl had signed up with Rogers for cable service. One of the staples of the Rogers stable at the time was the equally new Blue Jays baseball team. This was way before Rogers owned the team, but they needed stuff to put on cable and so subscribers got lots of baseball whether they wanted it or not.
I'm never going to judge Kipling's mom. She was a tough old broad and had come through quite a lot in her time. In the dirty thirties she'd been sold by her family as farm labour to a nearby farmer. That's how tough things were in rural Ontario in the day.
Due to her numerous attempts to get away from that gig, she ended up in the Galt Training School for Girls, from which escape was only possible upon reaching one's majority or upon getting married, which was the main reason she found herself married at age 17 to a man well over twice her age.
But that's another story, or perhaps a book, but suffice it to say that she'd had a rough enough life. I knew her reasonably well in her later years and I swear she did not have a racist bone in her body.
Nor did she have a politically correct one. Not being a baseball aficionado, she was a bit miffed at the saturation baseball coverage included in her cable TV subscription. She expressed her displeasure with a short note to Rogers CEO Ted Rogers;
"Please cancel my subscription immediately. I am NOT paying $8 a month to watch niggers spit."