In a stroke of football diplomacy, Gov. Martin O'Malley presented a jersey of Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III to Rabbi Dov Lipman while on a trade mission in Israel this week. Lipman, a Silver Spring native, is a member of Israel's parliament.
“Rabbi, this is from your home place," O'Malley said as he handed over the jersey in a video of the exchange posted on YouTube. "This is who everybody roots for in Silver Spring, Maryland. And this year, everybody was fired up by RGIII.”
“So I just want to tell you, governor, that I was at the National Prayer Breakfast last year,” Lipman said. “And RGIII was the guest speaker. And before I even saw him play, before I knew he’d be a Redskin, he talked about God and about prayer. And we talked afterwards for a while, and we have a relationship. And I looked all around Israel for a jersey of his.”
Robert Griffin III is so popular that more of his No. 10 jerseys were sold in the NFL last fiscal year than any jersey in the league's history, according to ESPN.
Watch the full exchange between O'Malley and Lipman in the YouTube video above.