(February 10, 2020 / JNS) Following backlash from Jewish groups, Major League Baseball (MLB) said it will no longer run advertisements promoting anti-Israel activist and BDS supporter Roger Waters’ upcoming North American tour.
MLB.com had been among the organizations sponsoring ticket presales for Waters’ “This Is Not a Drill” tour.
MLB emailed baseball fans an advertisement featuring its logo, along with the logo of Waters’ tour, and offered fans an opportunity to purchase presale tickets. The promotion was part of an ad buy by AEG/Concerts West for multiple concert tours, according to The Associated Press.
In a Jan. 29 letter sent to MLB commissioner Robert Manfred, B’nai B’rith president Charles Kaufman and CEO Daniel Mariaschin expressed “deep dismay” at MLB.com’s advertisement.
“Waters is an avowed anti-Semite whose views on Jews and Israel far exceed the boundaries of civil discourse,” they wrote, adding that they were “saddened and outraged that baseball … would use its online resources to publicize an individual with an alarming history of anti-Semitic hatred. We call on MLB to cease providing Roger Waters a platform.”
The Zionist Organization of America said it was “horrified” by the MLB’s involvement in selling tickets for Waters’ tour, “especially in an era when attacks against American Jews have become an epidemic.”
“We call on Major League Baseball to immediately sever its ties to Roger Waters, cease promoting his upcoming concert tour, and repudiate Waters’ vile lies about Jews and about the Jewish State of Israel, which incite Jew-hatred,” ZOA president Morton Klein, chair Mark Levenson and ZOA regional director Steve Feldman said in a statement.
B’nai B’rith said on Friday that MLB replied that it will no longer run the ads and that the league stated it had no anti-Semitic intent in running the ads.
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