Former Major League Baseball (MLB) player Cody Decker said that anti-Semitism is “rampant throughout baseball” and called for the suspension of an Oakland Athletics coach for making a Nazi salute after a game.
Decker, who is Jewish, played as an outfielder for the San Diego Padres and as an infielder and designated hitter for Israel’s national team in the World Baseball Classic.
"The amount of Nazi jokes I've dealt with throughout my entire career is pretty staggering," he told TMZ Sports on Saturday.
He then shared several instances in which he faced anti-Semitism from fans and teammates.
Decker said that during a Double-A minor league game against the Texas Rangers' affiliate, the Frisco Rough Riders, members of the opposing team referred to him and another Jewish teammate as “kikes.”
He also commented on a recent incident involving Oakland Athletics bench coach Ryan Christenson, who faced backlash for making a Nazi salute during a game on Thursday against the Texas Rangers.
“In the world today of COVID, I adapted our elbow bump, which we do after wins, to create some distance with the players,” Christenson said in a statement last week, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.
“My gesture unintentionally resulted in a racist and horrible salute that I do not believe in. What I did is unacceptable and I deeply apologize.”
Decker responded that he should be suspended and educated on the dangers of anti-Semitism.
"I would like him to educate himself on the situation, understanding why this is so offensive, why this isn't funny to people like me and honestly players like me," he said.
"Let him know what I've been through, that he's never been through and what my family has been through, that his family luckily didn't have to go through and why this is unacceptable."