Global Sports Icons Unite in Solidarity With Israel

Athletes advocate for the release of hostages.


Sports, Community

(JoulyC /

In a heartwarming display of unity and compassion, renowned sports figures from around the world are showing their support for Israel and advocating for the release of the men, women and children who were kidnapped by the Hamas terrorist organization. 247 people from 41 countries were abducted by Hamas on October 7, 2023. To date 104 people, including foreign nationals, have been released, while 143 people remain in captivity in Gaza - their fate hangs in the balance. Despite the divisive nature of geopolitics, prominent sports personalities are transcending borders and leveraging their influence to rally behind the call for solidarity with the hostages.    

Taking a stand for humanity
In the aftermath of the barbaric Hamas terrorist attack, Israeli athletes are working to increase advocacy efforts to support the hostages and in turn they are taking a stand for humanity. The Jerusalem Post reports about a campaign launched by Maccabi World Union and the Maccabiah, that is asking all athletes and sports world personalities to heed the call to make their voices heard and advocate for the safety and return of all the hostages. 

In a powerful and moving video, the players of the Israeli national team can be seen taking the field at Bloomfield Stadium with the national anthem, Hatikva, playing in the background. In the video the opposing team members are accompanied by young children. The Israeli team reaches out their hands in a representative gesture to call for Israeli children to accompany them, but when the players take the field, the Israeli children are not there and the players go forward without them. The video ends with the chilling callout - “Our children are missing. Hamas kidnapped them from their beds and homes. Help us #Bringthemhome now.”

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A post shared by Maccabiah | מכביה (@maccabiah)

Global support

In a heartfelt gesture, Bayern Munich, the German soccer powerhouse, opened its doors to the families of hostages held in Gaza by the Hamas terror group during their November 11 game, The Jerusalem Post reported. The visitors were warmly welcomed by soccer club president Herbert Heiner and CEO Christian Dreizen. As a symbol of support, each guest received the club’s official football shirt, adorned with the names of the kidnapped children. The initiative aimed to convey Bayern Munich’s unwavering commitment to Israel and its unequivocal stance against terrorism. Prior to the game, the Bild underscored Bayern’s dedication, stating, “Bayern is committed to Israel! Bayern wants to send a clear message against terrorism and express full solidarity with the abductees, their families, and the people of Israel.” 

Werder Bremen, a prominent German football team, used their league match as a platform to advocate for the release of the hostages, according to BNN. The images projected on the stadium screens and the resounding call from the fans serve as a poignant reminder that, in moments of crisis, the world can come together for a shared cause. 

In a joint statement posted on X (formerly known as Twitter) NBA superstar LeBron James and his business partner Maverick Carter expressed their condemnation of the Hamas attacks on Israel. The Los Angeles Lakers star labeled the events “tragic and unacceptable,” emphasizing the devastating impact on innocent lives. James and Carter did not mince words, categorizing the actions of Hamas as terrorism and denouncing the violence perpetrated against civilians.

Nick Lowery, Hall of Fame NFL player, shared a video on YouTube, sharing his words of support for Israel and encouraging others to speak up. “This week has proven that there is a very powerful force of evil and hatred (in the world). We have to stand up against that and stand for the people that love unconditionally, the people dedicated to bringing this world together. Now it is the time to stand up for Israel,” Lowery stated.  

Hernan Feler, the Argentine soccer broadcaster, has a direct connection to the murderous Hamas attack. His aunt, Ofelia Reutman, was kidnapped to Gaza from Kibbutz Beeri. Since the attack, Feler has opened his broadcasts with a demand to release the hostages, including his beloved aunt. In an emotional message posted on Instagram, Feler emphasized that Argentinians are also being held in Gaza: “22 of (the hostages)  have Argentine citizenship. We demand that they return home, return to their families. Don’t be silent, raise your voice. Don’t you feel guilty for being silent? Don’t you feel ashamed? Keeping silent is equivalent to cooperating. Bring back Ophelia, bring back all the abductees.”

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A post shared by Hernán Feler (@hfeler)

As a result of international pressure and diplomatic efforts, Ofelia, along with 3 other Argentine women, were among the hostages released by Hamas in recent days in exchange for prisoners being held in Israel. After learning about his aunt's release, an emotional Feler is reported as stating “We wanted to see her walk and smile once again," The Limited Times reports. 

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A post shared by סטטוסים מצייצים (@sta2sim_metzaitzim)

This unprecedented show of solidarity underscores the unifying power of sports. Regardless of nationality, religion, or political affiliation, athletes are advocating for the release of the hostages being held by Hamas. Their collective efforts serve as a reminder that the values of compassion, empathy, and humanity transcend the boundaries that often divide nations.

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This article was written in collaboration with Good Deeds Day