Tuesday, October 20th, 2009 at 12:23 pm  |  28 responses

Video: Gershon’s Speech on Race

NOTE: This video translates only select quotes and has been often taken out of context.– Ed.

Words by Daniel Edward Rosen

The zany Maccabi Tel-Aviv coach who had to be removed by a rabbi following his ejection from an exhibition game with the Knicks Sunday once had some very curious theories on how the skin tone of his players could separate a smart player from a dumb one.

In this videotaped 2000 speech, Pini Gershon said that players of mixed heritage – or “mocha,” as is translated in the video – are smarter than players of darker complexions.

“The ones who are more mixed, like Andrew Kennedy for instance, (an American-Jamaican player who played with Hapoel Galil Elyon in the Israeli league during the 90s) you sense their position, their personality, he tests you. He’s smart,” says Gershon, much to the obvious discomfort of the the Israel Defense Force officers in attendance. “The other blacks are really stupid. They are like slaves. They do whatever you tell them to.” Gershon would later claim that he said those statements in jest.

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  • Ken

    Wow. Just…wow.

  • the rod

    wow…really, gershon is a great coach and i hope there was some sort of irony in what he said back then…but that’s just plain racist

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    that’s messed up

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    I need to get my life in order – things have been weird for me for awhile.

  • http://dfkjslf.com Jukai

    Next time maybe they should use a shotgun instead of a rabbi to get him out of Madison Square Garden

  • TADOne

    Not the best way to recruit players.

  • SchW

    That´s some racist shit…

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    This is HILARIOUS. It really, really is. It’s like “Is this happening? Yes, yes it is happening. Amazing.”

  • underdog

    Now that’s news! It happened 9 years ago. Slam you’re a bit late.

  • http://slamonline.com YKnot

    He wasn’t relevant to slam readers 9 yrs ago! I guess Will Bynum is still with the Pistons and not Macabi because he’s dumb. Half man- half dumbass Flatbread Sandwich!

  • slick ric

    I guess Michael Jordan and Kevin Garnett are really dumb players.

  • Eylon

    Let this not be a representation of Israeli’s or Israeli culture as a whole. A little story. Last year before Maccabi brought in Gershon, my uncle, Efi Birenboim was the coach of the team. As the longest serving coach in the Israeli league, Efi was liked by many, players included. With his firing mid season Maccabi handled it very unprofessionally and brought in Gershon. In coming in he handedly disrespected my uncle indirectly through the media. Pini is not the most intelligent person out there and he is not liked by the masses. It can’t be said he’s the greatest coach either as his winning teams included some of the best Euro players of all time, Parker, Jasekevicious (spelling), Vujicic, Baston etc. Please don’t let this be a representation of Israeli culture and Jews alike.

  • feelinit

    is this why he liked anthony parker so much?

  • Nir Alef-Bet Schmuckwotiz

    Pini Pini Pini, can’t you see
    Sometimes your comments are so zany.
    But I just love your quirky ways
    Guess that’s why theyre PC but youre getting flayed.
    Now Pini is the coach with the ariel sharon gut,
    He calls mixed races mochas, which sounds tastier than a mutt.
    But forget that putz, and get your rosh in these nuts,
    because i said ariel sharon, no ifs ands or buts.
    I am a surgeon with these rhymes like my name was J Plaus
    I can go 0 to 60 lyrics like Im driving an App-ee-lause.
    You be commenting on my flow like youre writing op-eds like Ralph Kap,
    My raps making your head spin like the late Dick Shaap.
    Super nintendo, Sega Genesis,
    I spent all my money at the Club buffet, man, i couldnt picture this.
    Tape instead of shelves in the Gates of Jlem hotel,
    Firing the loudest katyushas in eilat and making Ralph suffer the smell.
    But now lets get back to Pini, which is short for Pinchas,
    Thanks for exposing yourself to america, youre now honorary YibChas.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    I don’t know about all this

  • oddball

    the nba preseason…where amazing happens!

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    this is a) old and b) only partially translated. I dont want to hear 1/2 a conversation. It would be like me saying “I love to live a clean life, no beer/drugs/hoes” and then with partial translation ending up with “I love beer/drugs/hoes”. While what was on the video is indeed shocking, i want to hear the ACTUAL version before i draw a conclusion.

  • JD

    Oh my god, i don’t think anyone here could be more racist even if they tried

  • james


  • Gumdrop

    There are few things in life more pleasing than a poorly constructed type-rap — like fine wine to a refined pallet. Well done Nir, well done.


    this guy speaks the TRUTH! Look at mochas like Obama and Jason Kidd. Now look at darkies like most of the simple minded scum.

  • nathan’s hot dog guy

    smaller minded comment than the i pod nano,
    got pini runnin so far we call him gershon moreno.

    but the coach is misunderstood, gives cheers to the yids, and has better expertise than zeev’s israeli surfing vids.

    But now that i got the mic i turn away from Mac TA, i turn to someone cookin hotter rhymes than bobby f-ing flay.

    by turning to someone else, of course i mean myself,
    i got a bigger wealth of skillz than the Argentinain ulpan ass which was bigger than a shelf

    so boi boi motek, i call out more peeps than maury povich ….thats why i call out ralph to take this beat and sow it….

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty


  • sab

    unfortunately i’ve encountered similar attitudes often amongst “older” Europeans. i put it down purely to ignorance. i knew an Italian guy, 60-y-o, great guy, but one day he started explaining to me how black soccer players have smaller brains than white ones… but i think it’s because, he’s had minimal experience of black people in his life.
    of course it doesn’t excuse it, but i’d like to hope that “the younger generation” are more culturally-integrated and therefore know that such sweeping generalisations are just stupid.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Young people typically learn how to think from old people.
    You might be a tad bit optimistic.

  • Hapoel Scalper

    Meeshe nichnas ADER (m) marbim besimcha,
    i call out so many peeps they call me chazarat hashatz…..
    where could ralph go, did he go out to eat?
    hope hes still betultah and not a ploneet…..
    like MAC Haifa in UEFA, i gotta maintain conquer,
    i’ll even bust a remix on this rap game machzor…..
    so boi boi botox, i got more game than sandy koufax,
    my game is so sly that u better read ur car facts…..
    i gotta get back to work — stop this staam,
    how bout some stuff from Ralph to honor Mar Cheshvannnnnnnnnnnn

  • Nir Alef-Bet Schmuckowitz

    Hapoel, you passed it, by like Ed “Sea of” Reed,
    I nabbed this rhyme from Ralph and proceed with killah speed.
    Now let me backtrack a minute to serve Mr. Gumdrop,
    who posted earlier here and called my rhymes slop.
    Gum, Ill drop you till youre hotter than the girls in TA malls,
    Your post was more offensive than the stench from Ralph’s used stalls.
    You said my rhymes were of poor construction like the walls of Jericho,
    When in fact theyre more impressive than ADER’s ESPN slo-mo.
    You were sarcastic as egozim comparing these raps to fine wine,
    When really my rhymes be iller than the flu from chazer-swine.
    My rhymes are sprinkled in like a feta salad with craisins,
    hip hop b’atar internet shel Slam – thats amazin’!
    But forget you and lets move on to my main man Hapoel,
    who zooz-es mitzad litzad with moves like Latrell Sprewell.
    But if he zooz-ed m’yam l-yam than I’d give him more props,
    But with Ralph as his GPS guide it’d be a trek full of plops.
    So 1 2 3 4
    get your cous cous on the floor,
    Gotta gotta get up to get down,
    but gonna be tough with shabbas elevators disallowed at the Crowne.
    Gonna have to take the staircase in a back alley,
    Sidestep chava L who says “you mae” more than Sallie
    Ascend to Zeev’s sick porch looking out at the Citadel of Dave,
    And thats why Pini Gershon called a player dumb like a slave.

  • faak hapoel

    You call me once to the mic, I brush you off to the side,
    You call me twice to the mic, I’m forced to oblige.
    Drop my pen to the ground, brush my head against your beitzim,
    It’s a solid cover, especially while you’re teachin’.
    You make fun of my bowels, you say I’m a natural ex-lax,
    Meanwhile you run to the bathroom to fix your contacts.
    We head down south, I’m talking 58 of us,
    We get kidnapped to our apartment while the “fresh one” stays on the bus.
    I wake up in the morning from the loudest blast,
    I head for the exit, I get there fast
    Sack to my left, Kast to my right,
    King Sol wedged underneath a half-couch
    Oh white a sight.
    I go to kitchen I’m looking for some toot banana
    I trip over Stuck who thinks this is a cabana.
    So fix that contact, douse it in saline solution
    When you’re ready to bring it, avoid the circumlocution.