This is exactly why Kanye West’s recent antisemitic interviews are so dangerous. Ye has over 50 million followers on Instagram and Twitter combined. His words carry weight and it’s his failed responsibility to know others would adopt his belief because of his lofted and unworthy celebrity status. At the end of Georgia and Florida’s neutral-field SEC game in Jacksonville, someone projected the statement “Kanye was right about the Jews!” onto the TIAA Bank Field scoreboard.
West lost his partnership with Adidas and other brand deals after his repeated antisemitic remarks. The message seen in Jacksonville was incredibly similar to the one seen last weekend on a banner hanging over the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles, with another asking passing cars to honk their horns if they agree, all while giving Nazi salutes. The Anti-Defamation League, whose mission is to stop the mistreatment of Jewish people and provide equal treatment for all, found 2,717 antisemitism events in 2021, a 34 percent increase from 2020. That averages to more than seven such incidents per day.
It’s another disturbing example in a recent awful trend of antisemitism boiling to the surface, joining examples of Jason Whitlock and Kyrie Irving posting antisemitic content on social media. TIAA Bank Field is home to the Jaguars, who luckily don’t play in Florida this week and could expose more fans to the antisemitic rhetoric. They’re in London to play the Broncos. That message was far from a mistake. Someone with access to the scoreboard intentionally put it there and should be disciplined. Nothing else is acceptable for posting that. If I worked at the Southeastern Conference, I’d want to be sure no one from the Bulldogs or Gators athletic departments was involved. If not, I’d consider moving the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” to a campus site next season.