News: Sports Direct

A major high street chain has issued a prompt apology after a security guard at its Borehamwood branch refused entry to two Yavneh school pupils, telling them “No Jews, No Jews”


The group of pupils, including two 11 year old boys were shouted at on Friday, by the guard as he pointed at the badges on their Yavneh school uniforms. The two year 7 boys, Nathan Rosen and Daniel Levitan, who had just completed their first week of secondary school, left the store traumatised at 2.20pm. Other Yavneh school children, who wore coats concealing their uniforms, were not refused entry. Sports Direct removed the security guard from the shop floor and were reportedly very apologetic.


On Sunday, Sports Direct issued Nathan Rosen’s father David Rosen with an email apology, within it Senior Independent Director Simon Bentley, clarified that the security guard was removed and “we have been advised by the security company’s owner, he is being let go by that company.” Bentley goes on to say “The statement he made was entirely contrary to the company’s policy and offensive.” Bentley followed this with a formal apology, “On behalf of Sports Direct, I apologise for the distress and trouble that your son and the others involved have suffered.” Bentley ended the apology by stating “We take pride in the lack of prejudice amongst our trained staff; who are encouraged to show respect to all our customers whatever their religious denomination.”


In response to the apology Rosen said “I am content with the apology from Sports Direct but I will still report this to CST and the police.”


David Rosen was unable to contact Sports Direct via telephone so utilised social media to demand an apology for the incident, where he described his son’s experience, “His first week of school as an 11 year old and a lasting memory will be an obvious act of anti Semitism in a predominantly Jewish area where a not insignificant number of your customers are Jewish.” He finished the complaint by stating, “A non response will be deemed a flagrant fanning of the flames of anti- Semitism.”


Rosen took to Facebook again to express his reasons for escalating the incident, “My message is to expose anti-Semitism in any form and to ask Sports Direct to positively confirm that Jews are welcome at their stores.” A determined Rosen explained, “They messed with the wrong father and I won’t let this go lightly.”


Daniel Levitan’s mother Judith Levitan said “Daniel text me at about 2.45pm and told me what happened and I told him I would come down.” When Judith spoke to the manager of Sports Direct she was told “it was a contracted security guard and it was really nothing to do with Sports Direct and that I wasn’t the only mother who had been in.” Judith along with other parents, asked for the guard in question to come out and speak to them “but he appeared to be on an indefinite coffee break.” She then explained, “I therefore called Inter Security and managed to speak to a Tina McCubin who is the manager in charge of retail security.” Levitan was assured that the incident would be looked into but has yet to receive a response. Levitan said “I have been on the receiving end of anti Semitism but I was angry and disgusted that my 11 year old and his friends had to experience this in their first week of school.”


Other minor incidents were also reported to have occurred throughout Friday.


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