Kraft Patriots, school statements condemn anti-Semitism


FILE – Rapper Kanye West speaking at a meeting at the Oval Office of the White House with President Donald Trump on Thursday, October 11, 2018 in Washington. Kanye West was evicted from the Californian headquarters of the athletic shoemaker Skechers on Wednesday, October 26, 2022, after showing up unannounced. Skechers says West, also known as Ye, also participated in unauthorized filming at its Manhattan Beach headquarters and was escorted by two directors. (Photo AP / Evan Vucci, File)


New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and other members of the sports world denounce the recent incidents of hate speech against Jews – not just anti-Semitic comments from the music tycoon formerly known as Kanye West, but also outside of a Florida football game on Saturday night.

The day after the NBA and the Brooklyn Nets made disapproving statements in response to Kyrie Irving’s clear support for the anti-Semitic film, other team bosses and athletes speak out against hatred and intolerance on and off the pitch.

At one point during Saturday’s soccer game between Florida and Georgia, the phrase “Kanye is right about the Jews” was displayed outside one of the end zones at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. It was a reference to the recent anti-Semitic comments Ye made on social media and in interviews – comments that led him to lose his partnership with Adidas and several other companies.

The University of Florida and the University of Georgia released a joint statement on Sunday morning condemning hate speech in the stadium and “other anti-Semitic news that has surfaced in Jacksonville.” The schools also said they “collectively condemn these and all acts of anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred and intolerance. We are proud to be home to strong and prosperous Jewish communities in UGA and UF, and we stand up against hatred together. ”

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said on social media that his city in Northeast Florida “is better for its diversity. Those who spread messages of hatred, racism and anti-Semitism will not be able to change the heart of this city and its inhabitants. I condemn these cowards and their cowardly messages.

And Shad Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, who plays at TIAA Bank Field, said on social media that he was “personally terrified” by the rhetoric, calling it “painful and bad.”

“It has to stop. I ask everyone to make it their mission to end ignorance and hatred, ”Khan said. Let’s be better.

Last year, the Anti-Defamation League recorded 2,717 incidents of harassment, vandalism or violence against Jews – the highest annual total since it began tracking these incidents in 1979. The latest anti-Semitic incidents occurred four years after the deadliest attack on American Jews, when 11 people were killed in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, and days before controversial mid-term elections across the United States

The nonprofit founded by Kraft took an extra step by planning to air an advertisement during the Patriots-New York Jets match on Sunday that condemned anti-Jewish hate speech and encouraged non-Jewish people to speak out against anti-Semitism.

“Recently, many of you have spoken,” proclaims the 30-second ad for the Kraft Foundation to Combat Anti-Semitism. “We hear you today. We need to hear from you tomorrow. There are less than 8 million Jews in this country. Less than watching this ad. They need you to add your vote. ”

The ad, which was supposed to be broadcast in the first quarter of the match, ends with the hashtag: #StandUptoJewishHate.

“I have invested enormous resources in this effort and I swear I’ll do more,” Kraft said in a statement. “I encourage others to join this effort. I hope this advertisement will continue to fuel the national discussion about the need to speak out against any kind of hatred, and especially to oppose Jewish hatred. ”

Also this week, Nets owner Joe Tsai said he was disappointed with Irving, the seven-time All-Star that seemed to support a movie that Tsai said was “based on a book full of anti-Semitic disinformation” when he linked to the movie “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America ”on Twitter on Thursday.

Nets coach Steve Nash said the organization “talked to Kyrie about this” but did not provide details. The NBA also took the floor on Saturday saying that “hate speech of any kind is unacceptable.”

“We believe we all have a role to play in ensuring that such words or ideas, including anti-Semitic ones, are questioned and rejected, and we will continue to work with all members of the NBA community to ensure that everyone understands the impact of their words and actions,” said the league.

Irving, however, responded to a post-game press conference on Saturday, claiming that he believes in all religions and saying that “he is not a divider when it comes to religion.” He added that “he will not go against anything I believe in.”

“Have I done something illegal? Have I hurt anyone? Irving said. “Have I hurt anyone? Do I go out and say I hate one particular group of people?

Texas A&M have changed the way they entered the field Saturday night before losing 31-28 to a 15th place finish in Mississippi. After appearing in “Power” Ye from 2012, Aggies instead entered the instrumental “Bonfire” Childish Gambino. Texas A&M sports director Ross Bjork criticized West’s comments earlier this week.

A consequence of Ye’s comments is also Donda Sports, the brand management agency he founded. Defense of Los Angeles Rams Aaron Donald and swingman Boston Celtics Jaylen Brown ended their ties with the agency, with Donald and his wife Erica, denouncing “hate and anti-Semitism displays” by Ye.

The well-known basketball team at Ye’s Donda Academy in California also suffered, and the Los Angeles Times reported on Friday that it had confirmed four major tournaments had left school.


AP Pro Football writer Mark Long, AP Pro Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney and AP Sports Writer Erica Hunzinger contributed to this report.


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This story was originally published October 30, 2022 11:23 AM.


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