Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Jonas "Nebuchad" Danielsson, an Anti Semite? Hardly...

Over the weekend, Daniel Negreanu had a chance to host the Scandinavian Poker Awards and as he presented online poker pro Jonas "Nebuchad" Danielsson with the award for Online Player of the Year, Daniel asked what seemed like a simple enough question. Where did the name "Nebuchad" come from?

Well, what Daniel received was less than a simple answer. Jonas Danielsson explained that he got the name from the ship in his favorite movie The Matrix, but that it had been brought to his attention that Nebuchad was also the name of a Babylonian King who was the first King to deal with the "Jew Problem."

Exactly what Jonas Danielsson meant to say was open for debate across various online poker forums within a few hours of the video showing up online. But not many people took it as a serious anti semitic remark, and rather, either a bad choice in grammar or a an ill attempt of a joke.

Props to Daniel Negreanu, who handled the situation in a superb manner and turned something that might have gotten ugly, into a light hearted situation. He later made a statment in a post on the 2+2 forums explaining exactly what happened.

"When he went up on stage he was visibly nervous in a big way. I threw him a softball question about his screen name, of course, never expecting Hitler and Jews to be involved with the answer!My reaction was to try and defuse the situation quickly, thus I took the mic from him. It seemed clear to me that is was just a bad choice in grammar, but because he was so nervous I was worried about what he may say next. I felt like if he tried to explain himself at that moment he would have a tough time doing under the circumstances and might likely stick his foot in his mouth. I wanted to let him off the hook and move on.I'm very happy with the way I handled the situation and most people agreed that I handled it well.I felt bad for the kid, because it was obvious to me that he has no problem with Jews, and that he was explaining a story and used a poor choice of words. He is a good kid."

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