When the Nets open their preseason against Maccabi Tel Aviv a week from Tuesday, expect there will be protests outside Barclays Center as a number of groups arguing that Israel's recent actions in Gaza warrant an end to "hoops as usual" for Israel's top team.
Already a Facebook page has been set up by one of the groups, Jewish Voice for Peace.
The protestors also plan to be outside the Maccabi Cleveland game on Sunday. It's not uncommon for Israeli basketball and soccer teams to attract protestors in Europe. Now, with Maccabi, the Euroleague champs visiting the US, the theme has spread across the Atlantic.
The Nets game has attracted particular attention because of a "VIP celebration" at the Barclay’s Center for Maccabi Tel Aviv hosted by an organization called Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF). According to a press release, "FIDF has arranged for 12 IDF soldiers wounded during the Operation in Gaza to take part in the event." That event will take place two hours before the game.
- Are Gaza Protests Coming to the NBA Preseason? - Dave Zirin - The Nation