Thursday, September 23, 2004

The new 'Sandy Koufax'

Last week I wondered where Sandy Koufax had gone following the decisions of two Israeli teams to play their UEFA-scheduled soccer games on Rosh Hashanah.

Maybe Shawn Green of the Los Angeles Dodgers is the new 'Koufax'? Green will not play at least one of two games this weekend (Friday night or Saturday afternoon) because it's Yom Kippur. Green is not particularly religious.
"It's something I feel is an important thing to do," Green said at the time, "partly as a representative of the Jewish community and as far as my being a role model in sports for Jewish kids, to basically say that baseball, or anything, isn't bigger than your religion and your roots."
The fact that he's not religious makes his decision all the more laudable. He may not be religious, but he is a public Jewish figure and he feels an obligation to those Jews who are religious. By not playing even one of the games this weekend (and they're BIG games) he's showing respect for those Jews who are religious, something that neither UEFA nor the Israeli teams managed to do.