Who Would Expect Jewish Slurs In Bakersfield?

Bakersfield: hot, dusty, reeking of oil and also home to your Bakersfield Condors. But while the minor-league hockey team might be always in search of fans, it might be tough for the Bakersfield Condors minor-league hockey team to sell group tickets to the Temple Beth El next season after this news: BAKERSFIELDNOW.COM reports that the reason for the mysterious suspensions of head coach Marty Raymond and assistant Mark Pederson was that they made anti-Semitic comments to Condors player Jason Bailey, who is Jewish.

Bakersfield town sign

(Bakersfield: A Wonderful City - Unless You’re a Jewish Hockey Player)

This raises a lot of questions, but none more prominently than this: they have Jewish hockey players? Also, they have Jews in Bakersfield? I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Bakersfield, and the closest I’ve ever come to seeing a Jewish person there was when I drove past a Noah’s Bagels once.

According to Condors team president Matthew Riley, the team had good reason to take the “extremely rare” action of suspending coaches during the season:

Riley didn’t want to go into detail about the incident, but says any derogatory comments about a person’s race or ethnicity are not acceptable. “Our owner’s Jewish,” stated Riley. “So obviously we took the matter or would have taken the matter very seriously, and methodically and done the right thing.” 

Wait, there are two Jewish people in Bakersfield? And they are both involved in hockey?  Raymond was suspended for seven days after the incident, and Pederson for two weeks. And Raymond will be back with the team next season but Pederson won’t: he’s taken a job as the head coach of the Netherlands national hockey team. Hope he packed a copy of “Van Curen’s Big Book of Jewish Slurs (Dutch to English Translation).”

But I still have a hard time believing that a head coach like Raymond would get so upset that he would use anti-Semitic slurs. After all, just check out how calm and collected he was in this game:

Well, at least Raymond might be popular with two of Bakersfield’s more dubious exports.