Fantasy football is bigger than ever and that means more and more people are lining up to play -- including bigoted knuckleheads.
ESPN's fantasy football pages have included leagues with names like "Jews are Immoral" and "Jews Are Terrible" with banners and mottos reading "Burn Jews Wherever Possible" and, "Jews love pennies," which lists President Obama as its creator.
Officials from the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, a leading Jewish human rights organization contacted ESPN this week to get the process started to remove the Anti-Semitic leagues.
"...offensive hate speech like the examples discussed here, have absolutely no place on our site,' Josh Krulewitz, ESPN’s VP of Communications says.
"While we have systems in place to minimize the possibility for inappropriate team and league names, clearly with millions of users and deceptive ways around the safeguards, we can never completely eliminate it. We very much appreciate when it's brought to our attention like you did in this case, and when it is, we pledge to move swiftly to address each case...the entry period for fantasy football is ending soon so no additional entries will be allowed. We will use that time to reflect on how we can improve this going forward. Thanks so much for your valued input," Krulewitz said.
"They may have been Fantasy Leagues, but the hate is all too real," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Fantasy football was born in 1962 thanks to the Oakland Raiders. Wilfred Winkenbach, a former Oakland businessman and limited partner in the Silver & Black, worked with a former Raiders Public Relations manager and a former reporter on a road trip to New York to develop the rules that eventually became fantasy football.