On Sunday, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft sponsored an ad that ran during NFL game broadcasts, urging viewers to “stand up against Jewish hate.”
The advertisements aired as Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, continues to face widespread condemnation for a series of antisemitic remarks that have sparked a wave of high-profile antisemitic incidents across the United States, including messages posted to an electronic board at a football stadium in Florida over the weekend.
“Hate is antisemitism. Anti-Jewish sentiment. “Because you’re Jewish,” said the 30-second ad released by the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism and the Robert K. Kraft Family Foundation. “Many of you have recently spoken up. Today, we hear you. We need to hear you.”
According to the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism, the ad first aired during the first quarter of the Patriots’ game against the New York Jets on Sunday. According to the organization, the ad was created with the intention of “drawing attention to the concerning rise of antisemitism and mobilizing all Americans to #StandUpToJewishHate.”
“We must do more to raise awareness of the growing threat of antisemitism on social media and in communities across the country,” Kraft said in a statement. “My hope is that this commercial will continue to enhance the national conversation about the need to speak out against all forms of hatred, particularly Jewish hatred,” he said.
Following Ye’s antisemitic comments last week, a slew of companies severed ties with him, with Adidas joining Balenciaga and prominent talent agency CAA in terminating its relationship with the entertainer on Tuesday.
Adidas made the decision after coming under increasing pressure to end its business relationship with Ye after an antisemitic hate group hung a banner over a Los Angeles freeway on Saturday that read “Kanye is right about the Jews,” causing widespread outrage.
Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams and Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics both announced their departures from Ye’s Donda Sports.
Ye appeared to support Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving and sports commentator Stephen A. Smith on Sunday, calling them “real ones.” Irving recently came under fire for sharing an anti-Semitic film on social media, prompting Nets owner Joe Tsai to say he was “disappointed.”
Irving said in a statement Saturday that he meant no disrespect and described himself as an “OMNIST,” or someone who believes in all religions.
“The ‘anti-Semitic’ label that is being slapped on me is unjustified and does not reflect the reality or truth that I live in every day,” he wrote on Twitter. “I respect and want to learn from people from all walks of life and religions.”
A number of other antisemitic incidents have occurred in the United States in recent days, including in Florida, where antisemitic messages in support of Ye’s comments were displayed on an electronic screen at the TIAA Bank Field stadium in Jacksonville over the weekend.
The same anti-Semitic message appeared to flash across at least one other nearby building shortly after the initial message aired at the TIAA Bank Field stadium, according to video posted on social media.
The football teams from Georgia and Florida, who met at the stadium on Saturday, issued a joint statement condemning the message on Sunday.
“The Universities of Florida and Georgia jointly condemn these and all acts of antisemitism and other forms of hatred and intolerance,” the joint statement said. “We are proud to be home to strong and thriving Jewish communities at UGA and UF, and we stand together against hate.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis attended Saturday’s game, according to Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry. He had made no public comments about the message that appeared during the game as of Sunday afternoon.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said in a statement shared on Twitter on Sunday, “Jacksonville is a city made better because of its diversity.” “Those who spread hateful, racist, and anti-Semitic messages will not be able to change the heart of this city or its people.” These cowards and their cowardly messages are condemned by me.”
Earlier this month, the Anti-Defamation League warned that Ye’s remarks were being “embraced by antisemitic extremist groups.”
“We’re disgusted by hateful incidents that occurred across Florida this weekend, in which white supremacists and antisemites from CA, TN, and NV joined Florida-based neo-Nazi crews for antisemitic banner drops, demonstrations, and laser projections,” it said in a statement over the weekend.