Florida Head Coach Wears Shoes In Support Of Israel During March Madness

Zinger Key Points
  • Public comments by athletes and celebrities have shown support for Israel during the Middle East conflict.
  • Those who have spoken out in support of one side have often seen criticism and a loss of social media followers.

While most attention will be on the breakout players during the 2024 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, coaches could also get plenty of attention during the annual March Madness event.

One coach could see increased attention thanks to his footwear selection.

What Happened:
The events that happened in Israel in October 2023 continue to reverberate with the conflict increasing between the country and Hamas in the Middle East.

The conflict sparked numerous shows of support from athletes and celebrities. Comments from athletes and celebrities have also led to criticism and loss of followers as many people are divided around the world over their support or want to see support for all innocent lives lost on both sides of the war.

March Madness could find itself mixed into the controversy of public support.

Florida basketball head coach Todd Golden is expected to wear shoes showing support for Magen David Adom. According to sports reporter Darren Rovell, Magen David Adom provides "disaster relief, ambulance and blood services in Israel."

Golden, a former college basketball player at Saint Mary's, spent two seasons playing for Israeli Basketball Premier League team Maccabi Haifa.

The shoes were designed by Stadium Custom Kicks.

Florida, a 7-seed in the tournament, takes on 10-seed Colorado on Friday at 4:30 p.m. ET. The game will be shown on TBS, a unit of Warner Bros. Discovery WBD.

Florida is a 1.5 point favorite in the matchup according to odds from sportsbook DraftKings Inc DKNG.

Related Link: March Madness 2024: Betting Odds, How To Watch NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, Use Data To Predict Winner

Why It's Important: The National Basketball Association bans wearing shoes that show political messages, which came after former player Enes Kanter wrote messages criticizing China and Nike.

While Golden's shoes don't criticize anyone, some could view the shoes as being pro-Israel and in return against the opposing side of the war.


The question of whether TBS and the announcers will show the shoes and share information on the storyline remains key.

Movie director Jonathan Glazer won an Academy Award for his film "The Zone of Interest." During his acceptance speech, which aired on Walt Disney Co.’s DIS ABC, Glazer commented about the war.

"Right now we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation, which has led to conflict for so many innocent people," Glazer said in his speech.

Glazer said his film showed where dehumanization leads at its worst.

"Whether the victims of October the 7th in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza, all the victims of this dehumanization, how do we resist?"

An open letter signed by Hollywood creatives has criticized Glazer's speech with many denouncing his speech.

Given the intensity of the Middle East conflict, Warner Bros. may want to err on the side of caution and not give attention to the shoes.

Read Next: March Madness Perfection: The Incredibly Low Odds Of Correctly Nailing 63 NCAA Games

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Posted In: SportsGlobalbasketballHamasisraelMarch MadnessMiddle EastNCAA Men's BasketballNCAA Men's Basketball Touranmentwar
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