Harry Sheezel could be a prodigious soccer talent set to become one of the first players taken in tonight’s AFL Draft, but some fans have reacted to the young Jew’s success with a series of sickening comments.
If North Melbourne pick the 18-year-old at three or four years of age, as expected, he will become the first Jewish player to be recruited since Ezra Poyas in 1999.
It’s a nice story about a young man who represents a community not usually associated with Australian rules football.
Unfortunately, not everyone felt this way, with a host of keyboard warriors flooding The Age’s Facebook post of his story with a series of anti-Semitic comments.
Harry Sheezel (left), 18, will be the first Jewish player selected in the AFL Draft in 25 years tonight.
The post has since been deleted, but not before prominent Jewish author Alex Ryvchin called attention to some of the racist comments on Twitter.
‘A Jew actually doing physical exercise? Fake News,’ wrote one, while another said: ‘Zionist-owned media selling a story like the Holocaust,’ in one of the most disgusting comments.
Other repulsive comments asked if the rising star had enough “gas in the tank” in reference to the horrors experienced by the six million Jews murdered by Adolf Hitler in World War II.
Several vile comments were made on a Facebook post about Harry Sheezel.
Unfortunately, and incredibly in 2022, this is not a rare event.
Dr. Dvir Abramovich, chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission and Australia’s leading anti-hate campaigner, said the “climate for Australian Jews” is very dangerous right now.
“Australians need to come to terms with the fact that the genie of anti-Semitism is out of the bottle and the manhole cover has been removed, as people who could be our neighbors are pouring their anti-Semitic poison on a young man who is simply looking to play. the game he loves’, he said in statements given to the Daily Mail.
“This is the reality of being a Jewish person in Victoria, and even for someone fighting anti-Semitism 24/7, the last few years have shaken me to the core. They paint a very worrying picture as anti-Jewish bigotry takes hold in our daily lives and the climate for Australian Jews becomes very dangerous.
“The number of disgusting posts targeting Harry Sheezel on Facebook is alarming and points to a large-scale normalization and acceptance of the bigoted and hate-filled speech that is a hallmark of social media today,” said Dr. Abramovich .
Dr. Dvir Abramovich, chairman of Australia’s Anti-Defamation Commission, said he is “disgusted” by the alarming amount of anti-Semitic comments directed at Harry Sheezel online.
Dr. Abramovich said the incredibly racist comments reflect longstanding stereotypes about the Jewish people that were led by the Nazi leadership, in the worst humanitarian disaster of all time.
“Some of the ugly and hurtful expressions I’ve seen shared about Mr. Sheezel are not only fanning the flames of bigotry, but recycling old blood libels and stereotypes of Jews that would make neo-Nazis very proud,” he said. in the scathing statement.
“One wonders if these people spewing such virtual abuse and bullying take their online activity into the real world when they meet Jewish people on the street or at work, and what are they teaching their children about acceptance and respect? .
“I hope every AFL team will take the time to see if these trolls are members of the club and if they are, kick them all out,” said Dr. Abramovich.
Sheezel (right) and teammate Will Ashcroft (center left, the much-touted son of Lions great Marcus Ashcroft) appeared on Fox Footy’s AFL 360 alongside Gerard Whateley (left) and Mark Robinson (right) in May and both are likely to be taken very seriously. high in tonight’s AFL Draft
Sheezel attended the prestigious Mount Scopus Memorial College (where former Australian Test cricketer Michael Klinger is one of the esteemed alumni), one of the best Jewish day schools in the world; where she learned to speak Hebrew.
Before playing in the top-tier youth NAB League, he played his youth soccer with the Jewish club AJAX, the club for which his father Dean played over 150 senior games.
99,956 Australians, 46,645 of whom lived in Victoria, identified as Jewish according to the 2021 census, so the fact that Sheezel is already making waves in football has made him something of a celebrity in the community.
Although he is not specifically religious, his family practices traditional Jewish customs and traditions every year, and that has determined him to be a role model in his community.
Sheezel played for the Sandringham Dragons in the top-tier junior NAB League, winning the premiership this year.
You have these kids that you’ve never seen come up to you and say, ‘Oh, ‘you’re Harry Sheezel,’ I’m going to Scopus too. You see these kids, they look at me the way I used to look at Lance Franklin. And it’s like, wow, like, I can be such a positive role model and influence to these kids,” he said. Sports Code Recently.
‘Sometimes it’s a bit of pressure, like if you don’t perform, am I letting them down? But I think I have a belief that I think I can make it more positive than negative.
‘I guess now it’s kind of real that it’s going to happen. So now I can relax a bit and try to give back to the community and show them that it’s possible.
“I think that’s what I’m going to look like, I just want it to be more mainstream, I think it definitely can be,” Sheezel said of the possibility of more Jewish players making a name for themselves in the AFL.
Harry Sheezel (right), pictured with a friend earlier this year, will be nervously waiting tonight to see when his name is called.
Only a handful of Jewish players have ever played in the AFL, with 1966 Saints premiership Ian Synman easily the pick of the bunch after a stellar 154-game career.
Current North Melbourne All Australian ruckmans have a Jewish father, but it does not qualify as the Jewish lineage traditionally comes from the maternal side of the family.
Poyas was the most recent, playing in the 2001 Richmond preliminary final, but only eight Jewish players in total are believed to have played at the highest level.
Harry Sheezel and his Sandringham Dragons beat the Dandenong Stingrays to claim the 2022 NAB League Premiership in September, with the young striker scoring four goals.
However, there will be one more to join those ranks now, and Sheezel may well prove he’s the pick of the lot.
The 1.86cm forward midfielder was brilliant alongside the much-hyped Will Ashcroft at Sandringham, kicking 36 goals in 14 games as the team clinched top spot in the NAB League earlier this year.
His crucial four goals in that grand final against Dandenong in September cemented his place as a top-10 draft pick, and the Kangaroos will most likely take him at pick three and add him to an already talented young forward line.