The PJ Tatler

Hate Crime and Omri Casspi

Omri Casspi is not a household name.  But at 6’9” you can’t miss him.  What does Omri Casspi have anything to do with today’s claim’s about what constitute hate?   Everything.  Casspi is the first Israeli to play in the NBA,and today he is about to be feted  in the nation’s capital by Washington’s Jewish community.  The 225 pound forward was picked in 2009 in the first round of the NBA draft.  He’s a guard who plays for the Sacramento Kings basketball team and tonight he to faces off against the Washington Wizards.  The act is not only a love fest for Casspi, but an act of solidarity against hate crimes. Last September, on the eve of  Rosh Hashanah — the Jewish New Year — a swastika was painted over a public mural of Omri Casspi,  defacing it.  Sacramento’s Jewish leaders appropriately decried it as a hate crime.   And because no one could connect it to a specific political movement, it ended with public sorrow about misguided people.   The Tatler has learned that during half time Israeli flags are expected to fly throughout the Wizard’s Verizon Center and Jewish yarmulkes will be passed out to visitors. The game begins at 7 pm.