Did Yankees Ignore Jewish Fan Who Had Yarmulke Snatched Off Head at Stadium?

A Jewish Yankee fan is alleging officials failed to investigate his complaint against a fellow fan who tauntingly grabbed his yarmulke of his head during a September 12 baseball game at Yankee Stadium.

Ben Lapin, an Orthodox Jew, told the Daily News that a man sitting behind him grabbed the yarmulke off his head while he was watching the Bronx Bombers take on the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“It was humiliating,” he told the News. “This is a religious symbol. The police were right there. Nobody did anything.”

Lapin said he tried to report the incident, but was ignored. The Dodgers went on to beat the Yankees 8-2.

“I went to one security guard,” he said. “They kept taking me to another person, then another person. They kept telling me, ‘Oh the guy left. We can’t do anything.’”

Lapin said that he followed up and a Yankees supervisor eventually offered him free tickets to another game.

“I didn’t take the tickets… This isn’t about getting free tickets. I’m scared to go to a Yankee game. I don’t want to go back there. There’s a lot of anti-Semitism. We don’t have to be afraid to wear a yarmulke at Yankee Stadium,” Lapin told the News.

A spokesperson for the Yankees told the News denied that the team failed to handle the issue properly.

“We took the complaint very seriously and we are trying to identify the offenders,” the spokesperson said.

Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind called the event “a hate crime,” in a Daily News interview. “We’re not talking about a baseball cap. We’re not talking about some hat. When you wear a yarmulke, you’re a Jew, a proud Jew and a religious Jew.”

Email Sam Kestenbaum at kestenbaum@forward.com and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum


Sam Kestenbaum

Sam Kestenbaum

Sam Kestenbaum is a staff writer for the Forward. Before this, he worked for The New York Times and newsrooms in Sana, Ramallah and Beijing. Contact him at kestenbaum@forward.com and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum and on Instagram at @skestenbaum.

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