Sports teams condemn recent anti-Semitic incidents, commented

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and other members of the sports world have condemned recent incidents of hate speech against Jews — not just the anti-Semitic comments by the music mogul formerly known as Kanye West, but outside of a college football game in Florida Saturday night.

A day after the NBA and Brooklyn Nets issued disapproving statements in response to Kyrie Irving’s apparent support for an anti-Semitic film, other team leaders and athletes are speaking out against hate and intolerance on and off the field.

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

The University of Florida and the University of Georgia issued a joint statement Sunday morning condemning the hate speech at the stadium and “the other anti-Semitic messages that have appeared in Jacksonville.” The schools also said they “collectively denounce 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 at UGA and UF, and we stand united against hatred.”

Jacksonville mayor said Lenny Curry on social media His northeast Florida city “has gotten better because of its diversity. Those who spread messages of hate, racism and anti-Semitism will not be able to change the heart of this city and its people. I condemn these cowards and their cowardly messages.”

And Shad Khan, the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, who play at TIAA Bank Field Stadium, said on social media that he was “personally dismayed” by the rhetoric and called it “hurtful and wrong”.

“That has to stop. I urge everyone to make it their mission to end the 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 tracking these incidents began in 1979. The latest anti-Semitic incidents come four years after the deadliest attack on American Jews, as 11 people were killed in a synagogue in Pittsburgh and just days before the contentious US midterm elections

A nonprofit founded by Kraft took the extra step of airing an ad condemning anti-Jewish hate speech and encouraging non-Jewish people to speak out against anti-Semitism during the Patriots’ game against the New York Jets on Sunday.

“Lately, many of you have spoken out,” reads the 30-second ad from the Kraft’s 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 look at this ad. They need you to add your voice.”

The ad, which was scheduled to air during the first quarter of the game, ends with the hashtag: #StandUptoJewishHate.

“I have dedicated tremendous resources to this effort and pledge to do more,” Kraft said in a statement. “I encourage others to join this effort. I hope this commercial will further fuel the national conversation about the need to speak out against hatred of all kinds, and Jewish hatred in particular.”

Also this week, Nets owner Joe Tsai said he was disappointed in Irving, a seven-time All-Star who appears to have endorsed a film Tsai said was “based on a book full of anti-Semitic disinformation,” when he posted a link for the movie released. Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” on Twitter on Thursday.

Nets coach Steve Nash said the organization “had spoken to Kyrie about it” but gave no details. The NBA also spoke out on Saturday, saying that “hate speech of any kind is unacceptable.”

“We believe we all have a role to play in ensuring that any such words or ideas, including anti-Semitic ones, are challenged and refuted, and we will continue to work with all members of the NBA community to ensure everyone has the.” Understand the implications of their words and actions. ‘ the league said.

However, Irving responded in a post-game press conference on Saturday, claiming to believe in all religions and saying he is “not a divisive person when it comes to religion”. He added he “wouldn’t give up on anything I believe in.”

“Have I done something illegal? Did I hurt anyone?” Irving said. “Have I harmed anyone? Do I go out and say I hate a certain group of people?”

The Texas A&M football team changed the way they took the field Saturday night ahead of their 31-28 loss to No. 15 Mississippi. After releasing Ye’s “Power” since 2012, the Aggies instead performed to an instrumental of Childish Gambino’s “Bonfire.” Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork criticized West’s comments earlier this week.

Following Yes’s comments also includes Donda Sports, a brand management agency he founded. Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Boston Celtics swinger Jaylen Brown severed their ties with the agency, with Donald and his wife Erica denouncing Ye’s “displays of hatred and anti-Semitism.”

The top-flight basketball team at Ye’s Donda Academy in California has also been affected. The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that it confirmed four major tournaments had dropped the 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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