But I never though that fascism can be met in Euroleague basketball arenas. And I am not talking about the fans. I am talking about the officials of Euroleague clubs.
It seems that the authoritarian and arbitrary way in which Jordi Bertomeu is running the Euroleague, has made Euroleague club managements to take liberties with fascism, or just one club in particular that is.
I am referring to Maccabi Tel Aviv. One would say that as an Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv would know better than this and not affiliate fascist measures. OK, enough talking, let’s see what happened.
Last Thursday a fellow Euroleague fan decided to attend the Maccabi Tel Aviv – Cibona game for the Week 5 of Euroleague. Having seen enough and being disappointed with Maccabi Tel Aviv’s poor performances he decided to show his discontent about the situation with a friend. No, he did not swear at the players. He did not call for Katash to resign. He did not throw chairs, fireworks, food, whatever in the arena. He just… dared to make a banner which quoted “BYNUM OUT OF MACCABI”, take it to the Nokia Arena with him and raise it during the warming up of the two teams.
The result? Well, I’ll just let the fan talk for himself here:
Me and my friend had enough of Bynum. The managment aren’t doing anything about it and won’t release him. Same goes with Kattash and the GM of the team Zvika Sherf. So we decided to show our disapproval and made a sign which said “BYNUM OUT OF MACCABI”. We arrived at the Nokia arena an hour before the game started. At around 7:30 PM (local time) we raised the sign when Maccabi T.A. players made their pre-game shots and while the entire Maccabi T.A. Staff and Management were on the courtside.
So after we raised it the Nokia Arena manager (his name is Nir Parselina) saw it and he sent two security officers towards us. They told us that if we showed the sign once more they would throw us out of the Arena.
***(AND WE ARE SEASON TICKET HOLDERS!! WE PAID MORE THAN $1500 for those season tickets!)*** So we told them that it was our right and thar Israel is not a Dictatorship. After we told them this, the security officers tear the sign from us and walked away.
Is this the Euroleague, and the European basketball in general, that we want? Where a fan, which contributes considerably to the team both financially and morally, can not express his feelings and opinions and instead sees his constitutional rights being blatantly violated in the home court of his favorite team that he and so many more people, who love democracy and freedom, supports?
I think that this incident was a huge foul from Maccabi Tel Aviv’s side and that they liable to all basketball fans.
Keep rocking and balling my fellow Euroleague fans. Never Mind the Bollocks!