A Week Late, NBC Finally Notices Israeli Athlete Being Snubbed

After completely ignoring a blatant display of anti-Semitism during last Friday’s judo competition at the Rio Olympics, this Friday, NBC’s Today finally noticed the shameful incident in which an Egyptian athlete refused to shake the hand of his Israeli opponent.

During a round-up of highlights and lowlights from the games with NBC Sports commentator Mike Tirico, co-host Hoda Kotb noted: “Sports always brings like nations together that are sometimes at odds. But in judo, when the Egyptian athlete didn't shake the hand of the Israeli after losing, that was not cool.”

Tirico remarked: “And I think everyone who saw this said, ‘You know what? That's not what the spirit of the Olympic games are about’....That was disappointing.” Matt Lauer chimed in: “It was more than disappointing, that was awful.”

The exchange lasted for a total of 23 seconds.

In sharp contrast, 8 minutes and 49 seconds of air time on Friday was devoted to the controversy over U.S. swimmers fabricating a robbery story to cover up drunken misbehavior while in Rio.

Here is a transcript of the August 19 exchange:

8:46 AM ET

(...)

HODA KOTB: Sports always brings like nations together that are sometimes at odds. But in judo, when the Egyptian athlete didn't shake the hand of the Israeli after losing, that was not cool.

MIKE TIRICO [NBC SPORTS]: Yeah, and you know, of course the world doesn’t stop when we get here, but the world does come together in sport. And I think everyone who saw this said, “You know what? That's not what the spirit of the Olympic games are about.” And we've seen too much the spirit is there. That was disappointing.

MATT LAUER: It was more than disappointing, that was awful.

(...)

NB Daily Egypt Israel/Palestine Islam Judaism Sports NBC Today Video Olympics Hoda Kotb Matt Lauer

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