Then and Now: Ethical questions hammered the ‘Little Hebrew’by dan schifrin
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Though Jewish Milwaukee Brewers superstar Ryan Braun successfully challenged a positive doping result earlier this year — a first for Major League Baseball — San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera admitted to using a banned substance and is suspended for 50 games. The risks players take to win remind us that professional athletes are really competitive, and that sports and ethics don’t always go together.
Abe Attell was alleged — but never proven — to have soaked his back in chloroform to daze challenger Johnny Kilbane. More publicly, Attell was reputed to be the messenger between gangster Arnold Rothstein and the Chicago White Sox during the 1919 World Series, when several White Sox players were banned for life for trying to fix the games. Attell was never convicted, but fled to Canada for a year to avoid a subpoena. After boxing, Attell operated a successful shoe store in New York before going into vaudeville.
This column is provided to j. by Daniel Schifrin, writer-in-residence at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, where stories of local Jewish life are explored in “California Dreaming: Jewish Life in the Bay Area from the Gold Rush to the Present,” http://www.bit.ly/california_dreaming
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