An Israeli mayor was quoted Tuesday as referring to black basket-ballers playing for professional teams in his country as “niggers.”
“I don’t want to see foreigners; I want to see Israeli sportsmen,” the Hebrew-language site of Ynet news quoted Holon Mayor Motti Sasson as telling a sports conference at an Israeli college.
“If you want to watch niggers, you have the NBA for that,” he added, referring to the American National Basketball Association.
The influential Ynet called Sasson’s remarks “a miserable and revolting expression.”
Holon lies just south of Tel Aviv.
Its Hapoel basketball club plays in Israel’s Super League, where it won the 2007-2008 championship and is in 7th place at the moment.
League rules allow four non-Israelis to play on each team, and many of them are black Americans.
Ynet said that when it asked Sasson to comment, he apologised.
“The choice of the word ‘niggers’ was inappropriate and I apologise. I, of course, meant foreign players.”