Over the weekend, the Dutch soccer club Vitesse abided by the UAE government’s sudden announcement that it would deny defender Dan Mori entrance. A spokesperson said officials had assured them that Mori would be allowed to come, but the day before the team was set to travel to the country for a set of exhibition games, UAE authorities informed them that the Israeli would have to stay behind. Vitesse described the situation as “very irritating” but said the “interests of the team are paramount” and that they would comply in order to “stay away from politics and religion.”
Cowards. After this demand from the UAE, there was no way to “stay away from politics and religion.” Vitesse had a choice to make. They could stand by their teammate, and refuse to travel without him. Or they could stand with the bigots and leave him behind, like so much extra baggage. They chose not to fight. They chose to stand with the bigots. That’s a morally indefensible choice.