In case you don't buy the pressure facing Omri Casspi…

The Sacramento Bee’s Cathy Locke is reporting this horrifying news:

“The Sacramento Police Department is investigating as a possible hate crime graffiti painted on a mural of Sacramento Kings players in the midtown area.

Police Department spokesman Officer Konrad von Schoech said a report was received about noon today that a swastika had been painted on a plywood mural at 16th and R streets. A backward swastika was painted on the forehead of Kings player Omri Casspi, who is from Israel.”

There have certainly been plenty of “feel good” pieces written on the emergence of Omri Casspi as not only an up and coming NBA player but a hero to Jewish people everywhere. You can find one here and again here and NBA TV did an entire hour special, which in case you missed it, is spectacular- search for it and DV-R it.

Most of the Casspi coverage focuses on Omri the ambassador and just how difficult that role has been on Omri the player. Sadly, it takes something so atrocious and deplorable like this act of stupidity/racism to remind us of the other side of being Omri, the NBA’s first Israeli born player.

The Bee’s Jason Jones added this in his blog:

“Casspi never mentioned hearing any anti-Semitic talk during games last season, though I heard about some fans making inappropriate remarks.”

Just in case you forgot, racism in America is alive and well. There is a big difference between the drunk murmurs of a few in a crowded basketball arena and the defacing of mural in your home city. As someone born and raised in the Sacramento area, I am appalled and embarrassed by the act of a very small person.

A photo of the defacing can be found here.

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About: James Ham

James Ham provides coverage through news analysis and in-depth interviews with Kings players and staff. James is also one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary "Small Market, Big Heart". James graduated UC Davis with a degree in history and is happily married with two children.