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Sportsman in hate speech row over Tottenham anti-Jew 'joke'

Paul O'Mahony · 26 Jan 2010, 10:41

Published: 26 Jan 2010 10:41 GMT+01:00

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Alexander Mayborn, a Liverpool fan who plays ice sport bandy with Trollhättan club Gripen in Sweden's second division, infuriated sections of the Jewish community with his reference to Kristallnacht. Known in English as the Night of the Broken Glass, Kristallnacht was a 1938 pogrom against German and Austrian Jews widely thought to have formed the platform for Hitler's genocidal 'Final Solution'.

The sportsman later apologized for his outburst after being reported by the Jewish Community (Judiska Församlingen) for agitation against an ethnic group.

"We report all comments of this nature to the police as a service to our members. I understand that he has apologized on his blog but it's now up to the police to decide how to proceed," a spokesman for the Jewish Community's security division told The Local.

Mayborn followed up his January 20th blog post with a triumphant commentary the next day after Dirk Kuyt's two-goal haul sank Spurs, a club with strong roots in London's Jewish community.

"'Pool took three fantastic points against the Jews," wrote Mayborn.

But the bandy player's joy was short-lived, as he was soon made aware that a report against him had been filed with the police.

As the pressure mounted, Mayborn responded with two apologetic posts on Monday, distancing himself from the Nazi movement and explaining that the initial post was "clearly a joke".

"I think Nazis and racists are the worst thing in the world. Unfortunately somebody had a problem with this joke and thought it was in bad taste. Naturally I apologize if anybody has taken offence," he wrote.

Story continues below…

Bandy is related to ice hockey, but is an older sport and is played on a rink the size of a football pitch. A curved stick is used to hit a small ball into a goal.

Alexander Mayborn was not immediately available for comment when sought by The Local on Tuesday morning.

Paul O'Mahony (paul.omahony@thelocal.com)

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Your comments about this article

11:32 January 26, 2010 by Buccaneer
I am not easily surprised by the level of hate in Sweden anymore.
12:52 January 26, 2010 by krrodman
Notice that he did not apologize.

He said: "unfortunately somebody had a problem with the joke. ...Naturally I apologize if anyone has taken offense."

In effect, he denies that what he has said is hate speech(it was a joke), but regrets if anyone misinterpreted his remarks. That is to say, he does not believe that he is the problem. Rather the problem lies with those who don't understand his sense of humor.
13:37 January 26, 2010 by Great Scott
This clown is obviously a Nazi and should be made to pay. No two ways about it, ban him from any form of sport for the rest of his life (playing or supporting). Publicly embarrass him so he will always have to suffer.
14:06 January 26, 2010 by franny66
Well what would you expect from a male swede he grew up on a diet of hate. He probably never met a jew in his life either..the country is full of this type of hate just go to a swedish pub and listen too them talk about immigrants, Americans, British, Irish, Italians, Norwegians etc they hate everyone...I sat with some British friends in the dubliner before Christmas and two swedes told us go back to where we came from...can you imagine doing that in london or new york..
14:32 January 26, 2010 by Clint Hart

All of you turned against him and cry for his blood just because he said a stupid JOKE about jews.

BUT When our leaders, artists and people insult seriously Islam or Muslims

We do nothing, on top of that we support them.

I swear that all of you are so inhuman and liars.
15:16 January 26, 2010 by calebian22
No one has cried for his blood. An apology has been rightfully demanded. Only one religion gets violent and calls for blood over trivial things like a cartoon or a joke. I wonder which one that is?
15:21 January 26, 2010 by Alex-Spain

"An apology has been rightfully demanded", Tell me, why we didn't support the same thing here and asked the mistaken person to apologize for Muslims ?
15:45 January 26, 2010 by calebian22
You can demand anything you want, an apology a retraction, what have you. Mayborn apologized, but he didn't have too. I personally think that he should have apologized. His comments were making light of an extremely dark time in European history. Millions of innocents were killed in the Holocaust.

However, I don't support an apology for the Danish cartoons. They were charicatures of the violence that muslims do at the urging of their own religion. For me that is not even remotely the same. The violent reaction over those said cartoons, however, speak volumes about the accuracy of those cartoons.
15:54 January 26, 2010 by Kaethar
You're absolutely right calebian22.
16:17 January 26, 2010 by Beynch
Is it at all possible that this sportsman is not a raging jew hater, nazi, and a rasist? Is the guy a known anti-semite? Isn't this yet another case of PC run amok, and certain elements looking for every remote chance they get to spew their own misguided accusations with God knows what ulterior motives they may have? I don't think he should apologize at all. Lighten up for Christ's sake. Don't let the slightest slight become a major ethnic incident!
17:11 January 26, 2010 by MD1
Why do people who are not smart feel a need to make poor analogies? Also, it is one thing if politician, who represents citizens, would make this comment. However, this dude is only a bandy player
18:48 January 26, 2010 by conboy
Be interesting all the same to see if the prosecutor brings the case to court on the other hand similar comments are made at Swedish work places every second day when I worked in Englans and Ireland it was not unusual to hear occasional remarks of the same doubtful calibre - this is a pretty universal problem in my own experience as a football fan and amateur player for many years.
20:41 January 26, 2010 by Buccaneer

" I don't think he should apologize at all. Lighten up for Christ's sake. Don't let the slightest slight become a major ethnic incident"!

Your type should be locked up and the keys thrown away. Oh, wait that would be playing nice.

What if some nice gentleman was exercising their freedom of speech about first taking all you own including your hair and them killing you in the most horrible way possible? What if he was also calling for all your kind and loved ones to be taken cared of in a gas chamber?

Lighten up for Christ's sake. Don't let this slight become a major ethnic incident.
21:08 January 26, 2010 by Malmoman

Do you know what a dhimmi is? Do you understand how it impacted the Spanish people and how historians perceive it? Do you understand why people vehemently fought back?

Of course the Moors had a cultural impact on Spain (as did the Christian on Turkey) but do you really know the human consequences?

I have spoken to many Spaniards, as I have mostly foreign friends here in Sweden, and I think their opinions diverge with yours.

Perhaps it was too close to March 11th, 2004.
22:18 January 26, 2010 by Decedo
Nazis in Sweden, wow tell us something we don't know. Maybe a bigger story should be that the Nazis didn't escape to Argentina, but across the border to Sweden.
23:56 January 26, 2010 by Uncle
Haha - Newyork-Växjo and Alex-Spain... Twin brothers...

It is incredible! Freaking Swedish govt apologized for the cartoons as well as few other nations. It is just the Jews nobody apologizes to.

You know why not? Because Jews protest and request apology when death of millions is made a joke or Himmler propaganda is brought up again. Really got the nerve, them Jews.

Muslims cut off heads, burn consulates, lynch foreigners, burn books, promise eternal Jihad, break into houses with an axe, kidnap, torture, explode in airplanes and put money on the head of the person who DARED to insult islam. (Plus shoot some rockets on the Jews, just as a bonus, since there is no need for a reason there)

CATCH THE DRIFT? Any questions, or all is clear?
00:32 January 27, 2010 by Aceblack

You cant just generalise like that. Then you can as well say that Jews kill innocent Muslims and steal organs and are involved in organized crime. Wich is true, a few jews do this, just as there are muslims doing all the thing you are talking about. But just as with the jews, it's a smal percent of the muslim population who's behind this.
02:37 January 27, 2010 by Torontonian
This is from the "pull-quote / quick links area above". How appropriate.

* Sweden's free speech tradition draws Israeli ire (27 Aug 09)

* Sweden claims bandy world title (26 Jan 09)

* Jews in Sweden under increasing threat (7 Jan 09)

This is not about "Free Speech". This is about incitement. The power of words has already been proven. Next step is "action". And for anyone who is slow on the uptake, the action is "push forward the greedy Jews harder than the Germans did on the Night of the Broken Glass"...

Here is a picture of one of those "greedy Jews". What solution should we have for this little greedy one? How hard should we "push"?

06:56 January 27, 2010 by Uncle
Aceblack - first the writer of the "stealing organs" story admitted that that there is "big chance" that he was mislead and the family that told him the story said that they NEVER told him the story. So no... not few are doing it.

Second thing - muslims are running away from their own wonderful countries in millions. MILLIONS! Whereas Jews are leaving Europe. Muslims increase the crime BY 126 times in Sweden, whereas Jews are holding the most Nobel prizes per capita for a nation. Islamic fundamentalism is seen as a threat by european ministers and far right is rising in Sweden, Germany, England, Russia, Austria, Switzerland and France.

There are expensive programs to keep the muslim population out of prisons in Europe and they do not help. The muslims ghettos in Europe are scary for the police, the situation with women in that community is awful, the violence towards children is horrible.

Name one muslim country with a high standard of living! Even Emirates and Qatar are covering half of their population in blankets and men are allowed to beat that half.

Right now, except some terrorists in South america and China, all of them are muslim..

95% of all ongoing conflicts involve muslims (if you consider the drug war in Mexico - a conflict). Minorities in EVERY muslim country are physically disappearing and are beaten into the ground.

I agree that it is not everybody, but don't you see the tendencies? Don't you see it?
09:41 January 27, 2010 by alxluc
all you people no nothing about football this is a bit of banter between football fans.

Everyone knows Spurs are called "The Yids"

He might have got the translation wrong and written jews or maybe the reporter has.

This has nothing to do with racism it is just some friendly banter which you can do on a blog.

That why he says it's a joke.

lighten up
16:08 January 27, 2010 by Torontonian

So he also got the translation wrong from let's "kick ass" to "push forward harder than the Germans did on the Night of the Broken Glass"?
09:50 January 28, 2010 by Kooritze
Lighten up.......yes!!! It,s just one bloke saying a politically incorrect joke........it,s called dark humour.

Not really an important news article and not one that should stir up huge response.
13:06 January 28, 2010 by engagebrain
'09:41 January 27, 2010 by alxluc

all you people no nothing about football this is a bit of banter between football fans.

Everyone knows Spurs are called "The Yids" '

not by the non racist section of the population.

and its know not 'no'

'16:17 January 26, 2010 by Beynch

I don't think he should apologize at all. Lighten up for Christ's sake. Don't let the slightest slight become a major ethnic incident! '

Hell it was only six million deaths and Hitler had a wonderful sense of humour.

He would have been great mates with Alexander Mayborn.
18:46 January 28, 2010 by israeli
i would be ashamed to be swedish these days.i send articles like this to the swedish embassy by email and ask for their response. if needed i will demand action from the UN against sweden as a country of extreme hate crimes.
19:08 January 28, 2010 by zeulf
I agree totally with Great Scott on this bit. Why the Yids name for a FC? Whats with that ? He may not be a Nazi but he might be an Idiot
22:23 January 28, 2010 by Chuy
What the hell is Band?
23:56 January 28, 2010 by badgerknox
OK, I read the article: some ass who plays an obscure sport made a joke about jews that was clearly in poor taste. Why were the police involved? Don't Swedes have the right to free speech? Seriously, I live in the US and don't know the answer to that one, but I thought they did. We have all kinds of problems here, but when our athletes make racial comments, the news and that sport's governing body get involved, but not the police. Here, you have the right to be an ass, if you want.
17:31 January 29, 2010 by zeulf
Badger If You live in the US , You should know that Hate speech is unlawful there too, No Blanket hate talk is allowed. No worries mate
09:12 January 30, 2010 by Skanssi
I doubt that he even knew what he was saying.

Yes, it was wrong, but I doubt he had a clue. Ignorant? Yes. Hate? I doubt it.
20:19 February 9, 2010 by Samir S. Halabi
I have to soon make a trip to Sweden to visit an elderly uncle, however I sure as sure as hell won't make that trip without my two body guard military trained dogs, standing at around 87cm and each weighing in at around 125kg. I certainly wouldn't dirty my hands on those thugs that attack defenceless law abiding Swedish Jews. So if any antisemites decide to attack me as they can easily define me as Jewish, we will see if they dare. My dogs are not in any way considered dangerous, people can even come up to me, however they are so well trained that they know if i am being attacked. they wil then just pull the person or persons down to the ground and just stand over them without using any force ie. or biting etc. they have all the necessary documentations including their passports, I have travelled with them all over europe on business and have never experienced any attacks on my peson so long as they accompany me.
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