If you’re living under a rock and unaware, Israel and Hamas are going at it for what seems like the 7,000th time. This particular episode is really bad, and the Sixers put out this statement on social media Sunday afternoon:

Here’s a brief sampling of the replies:

  • Should’ve stayed out of this one.
  • this why philly gon lose harden and embiid
  • This is something you keep your mouth shut about, failure of an organization.
  • gonna have to unfollow now
  • It’s free Palestine, clowns
  • Massive L
  • this is why you havent got out of the second round since 2001
  • Love to see this team’s dedication to losing extending to off the court
  • didn’t need to weigh in at all and got it totally wrong anyway. Sixers baby
  • Siding w/ oppressors is never a good look
  • we truly are a finished organization

There were positive replies mixed in, a lot of “thank you” with the Israeli flag and all of that. And plenty of fans did the “please stick to sports/stay in your lane” thing in response. We can argue about that concept until the end of time, but whenever franchises step into these kinds of things, they have to ask themselves if the gain is a net positive or net negative.

The Sixers, keep in mind, have two Jewish owners. Josh Harris and David Blitzer are Jewish. David Adelman is a limited partner, and is also Jewish. He bought his stake from Michael Rubin, who is Jewish. The Sixth Man is Jewish, and donated $2 million to the Holocaust memorial on the Ben Franklin Parkway. Naturally, there’s going to be a lot of pro-Israel sentiment in the upper levels of the Sixers organization. The interesting thing is that the Sixers (and NBA in general) also have the youngest and most progressive fan demographic in the region, a demo that seems to be much more sympathetic to the Palestinian side of the conflict, at least more than your typical Millennial, Gen X, or Boomer type in the 30+ age range.

It’s worth stressing, however, that the Sixers’ statement doesn’t mention Palestine at all. It mentions Hamas, which is a distinction that adds context.

Without getting too deep in the weeds on the conflict itself, or stepping in the shit with everyone else, my main observation is that nobody knows what they’re talking about. We were taught absolutely nothing about this in history class. Ask yourself how much the average American knows about the late-period Ottoman Empire, the British Mandate, the Partition Plan, the Oslo Accords, or anything that happened anywhere else in the world between 1917 and 1992. Our textbooks focused heavily on World War 1 and World War 2, but didn’t spend much time on what happened as a result. Maybe your education was different, but I can confirm that the academic powerhouse of Boyertown Senior High School did not spend much time on any of this.

Alright, that’s enough for now. Let’s get it back to the Eagles and Phillies.

EDIT – worth pointing out that the Sixers are the only local team to make a statement. didn’t see one from the other franchises. (Jeffrey Lurie is Jewish and condemned DeSean Jackson’s Farrakhan posts a few years ago, which is maybe somewhat relevant here. every team is going to have a different approach on whether or not to make a public statement on this)

EDIT 2 – there’s the Eagles’ statement: