The Jewish Sport Report: Did Germany accidentally allow a Nazi symbol on its national soccer jersey? – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

The Jewish Sport Report: Did Germany accidentally allow a Nazi symbol on its national soccer jersey? – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

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(JTA) — Happy Friday! This weekend, all eyes will be on the March Madness Final Four — the women’s tournament continues tonight and the men play tomorrow. If you haven’t been watching, now’s the time to tune in.

But here at the Jewish Sport Report, we’re also following another NCAA storyline: the Jewish Coaches Association will hold its annual Final Four breakfasts, where the group will give its Red Auerbach coach of the year award to the best Jewish college men’s basketball coach. UC Santa Barbara’s Joe Pasternack won the honor last year.

Germany redesigns its national soccer team unis after font snafu

A rendering of the jersey with the number 44. (Screenshot)

Germany recently unveiled a new design for its national soccer team jerseys, made by the German sportswear giant Adidas.

But fans quickly noticed an uncomfortable issue: the jersey’s font made the number 44 look like the infamous Nazi SS lighting bolt insignia.

While no current player on the team wears No. 44, Adidas sells customizable jerseys where fans can choose their own number and name.

The German Football Association (DFB) said in a statement Monday that “none of the parties involved saw any proximity to Nazi symbolism in the development process of the jersey design,” which had included a green light from the Union of European Football Associations.

The statement continued: “Nevertheless, we take the information very seriously and do not want to provide a platform for discussions,” the DFB said, adding that it “will develop an alternative design for the number 4 and coordinate it with UEFA.”

An Adidas spokesman said the company would immediately block the sale of No. 44 jerseys, and a German newspaper reported that “certain names relating to… National Socialism” would be restricted. The following day, the customization option was taken down entirely, and all jerseys for players who wear Nos. 4, 14 and 24 were also removed.

Read more about the uni controversy here.

Halftime report

DIGNITY IN DEFEAT. USC may be out of March Madness — the Trojans lost to UConn on Monday in the women’s tournament — but head coach Lindsay Gottlieb continues to inspire. “Lindsay has proven Jewish women belong in basketball, not just on the court, but as powerful, successful coaches as well,” Sophie Bravo writes in an essay for JTA’s sister site Hey Alma.

ENTHUSIASM CURBED. Speaking of March Madness, comedian Larry David attended last weekend’s men’s matchup between UConn and Illinois at TD Garden in Boston. The “Curb Your Enthusiasm” actor seemed to arrive at the game in full character: he spent part of the second half heckling UConn’s head coach.

NHL-BOUND. Quinnipiac University sophomore forward Sam Lipkin has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Arizona Coyotes, who drafted the Philadelphia native in the seventh round of the 2021 NHL Draft. Lipkin, who won a national championship with Quinnipiac, will report to the Coyotes’ AHL affiliate ahead of the Calder Cup playoffs later this month.

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME. For many baseball fans, nothing beats a ballpark hot dog. And for fans in St. Louis, Esther Schimmel, who died in 1986 at 93 years old, was for decades the “hot dog queen of Cardinals baseball.” Here’s her story.

Jews in sports to watch this weekend (all times ET)


The Atlanta Braves’ Max Fried takes the mound Saturday at 7:20 p.m. against Joc Pederson and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Fried’s first start didn’t go so well: He lasted only two-thirds of an inning and gave up three walks and three runs, while receiving no help from the home plate umpire on what, to many, sure looked like a strike. Meanwhile, Pederson is off to a hot start with his new team, with 5 hits and 1 RBI in 10 at-bats. Dean Kremer starts for the Baltimore Orioles Sunday at 1:35 p.m. against Rowdy Tellez and the Pittsburgh Pirates. In the Midwest, Harrison Bader’s New York Mets play the Cincinnati Reds this weekend, while Kevin Pillar and the Chicago White Sox face the Kansas City Royals.


Deni Avdija and the Washington Wizards host the Portland Trail Blazers tonight at 7 p.m. and play the Toronto Raptors Sunday at 6 p.m. Domantas Sabonis, who is converting to Judaism,  and the Sacramento Kings play the Boston Celtics tonight and the Brooklyn Nets Sunday, both at 7:30 p.m.


Jake Walman and the Detroit Red Wings host Adam Fox and the New York Rangers tonight at 7 p.m. and Devon Levi and the Buffalo Sabres Sunday at 1 p.m. Jakob Chychrun and the Ottawa Senators host Jack and Luke Hughes and the New Jersey Devils Saturday at 7 p.m. The Devils also host Jason Zucker and the Nashville Predators Sunday at 7 p.m. The Rangers host Jordan Harris and the Montreal Canadiens Sunday at 7 p.m. The PWHL is on a monthlong break for the IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship, which began this week. Team USA, which features goaltender Aerin Frankel, plays tonight at 7 p.m. against Czechia. The U.S. team beat Switzerland 4-0 on Wednesday.


Matt Turner and Nottingham Forest host Tottenham Sunday at 1 p.m. The match could have featured a rare Jewish Premier League faceoff, but Tottenham’s Israeli forward Manor Solomon has been sidelined with a knee injury since last fall. In the MLS, DeAndre Yedlin and FC Cincinnati host Daniel Edelman and the New York Red Bulls Saturday at 7:30 p.m. At the same time, Steve Birnbaum and D.C. United play the Columbus Crew, while Zac MacMath and Real Salt Lake face Minnesota United Saturday at 8:30 p.m.


Max Homa, David Lipsky, Max Greyserman and Ben Silverman are all competing in the Valero Texas Open this weekend in San Antonio.


Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll looks to follow up his solid sixth-place finish in Australia on March 23 in Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix. It’s another late (or early?) one: the race begins at 1 a.m.

End of an era

Speaking of Larry David, his 12-season hit comedy will officially come to an end on Sunday. The Canadian Jewish News’ “Menschwarmers” podcast bid farewell to “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” which they call “the most Jewish sports show there ever will be.”

“It’s unlikely we’ll see another TV program so unabashedly Jewish embrace baseball, basketball and golf in the same culturally specific way,” write hosts (and friends of the Sport Report) James Hirsh and Gabe Pulver.

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