An Orthodox Jewish father was publicly bullied by a fellow patron during a Yankee game at Yankee Stadium and was poorly dealt with by the Yankee Stadium organisation when they were informed, reports Yeshiva World News. Father of five, Ben Lapin, had his kippah ( skullcap) snatched by patron sitting behind him on 16th September 2016 and tauntingly kept from him after he repeatedly asked for it back.
Assemblyman, Dov Hikind, wrote to Yankee Stadium officials after Lapin informed him that when he complained to Yankee Stadium staff they minimalised the incident which had left him distraught for days after it happened and spoilt his anniversary celebrations. Hikin was further appalled by the unsupportive response to antisemitism from Yankee Stadium officials when they offered two free game tickets for Lapin as a response to his letter to them.
The failure of public officials to take action on a hate crime which occurred on their premises in a public arena is reminiscent of public persecution of Jews throughout history. Baseball is a symbol of American culture, and the ‘public’ significance of this attack on a Jewish man’s religious identity is evermore grossly compounded by this fact that baseball is a popular national past-time in America. By trivialising this antisemitic attack the Yankee Stadium authorities allowed a crime to go without consequence, and thereby normalised antisemitism.
Hikind is quoted to have said: ” Mr Lapin, a father of five, did not appeal to me to take action for some free tickets. He wants the Yankee organisation to set an example by helping identify these perpetrators and aid him in pursuing harassment charges.” He also added; “We need to send a clear message that there is no place for this type of behaviour anywhere. “