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Officials condemn ‘cowardly’ and ‘despicable’ anti-Semitic messages displayed at University of Florida-Georgia football game supporting Ye


Florida officials condemn several anti-Semitic posts that emerged recently in Jacksonville – at least one of which expressed support for recent anti-Semitic comments by Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, marking at least the second such public statement in a week that publicly reinforced his remarks.

Video job on social media shows an anti-Semitic message flashing on an electronic screen referencing support for Ye’s recent comments at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, where the University of Florida and Georgia football teams faced off on Saturday.

The same anti-Semitic message appears to have passed through at least one other nearby building shortly after appearing at the stadium, another video shows.

An anti-Semitic message referencing Kanye West was projected onto a building in Jacksonville, Florida.Obtained by NBC News

The message was the same one shared by an anti-Semitic hate group that hung a banner on a Los Angeles freeway declaring, “Kanye is right about the Jews.”

A number of people raised their arms in a Nazi salute as they stood behind this banner and another sign that read, “Honk if you know.” A third banner promoted a video platform that broadcasts anti-Semitic content operated by the Goyim Defense League, a network of anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists.

StopAntisemitism.org, a nonprofit group dedicated to documenting antisemitic behavior, said the Goyim Defense League was responsible for hanging the banners above Interstate 405.

The Anti-Defamation League in Southern California tweeted that the group responsible for the banner was “known to have espoused vitriol #antisemitism and the ideology of white supremacy.

Ye’s anti-Semitic comments led various companies to suspend working relationships with the rapper this week, including Adidas, Gap, luxury fashion house Balenciaga and talent agency CAA. He was also banned from his Twitter account and banned from posting on Instagram earlier this month after posting anti-Semitic messages on the platform.

The Florida and Georgia soccer teams issued a joint statement on Sunday condemning the anti-Semitic message that appeared during Saturday’s soccer game, along with others that have recently appeared across the city, including banners displayed since an overpass on Jacksonville’s Interstate 10, according to a Friday tweet from a local journalist.

“The University of Florida and the University of Georgia jointly denounce these acts and all acts of anti-Semitism [sic] and other forms of hatred and intolerance,” the joint statement read. “We are proud to be home to strong and thriving Jewish communities at UGA and UF, and we stand together against hate.

Governor Ron DeSantis was at Saturday’s game at TIAA Bank Field, according to a tweet Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry. On Sunday afternoon, he had made no public comment on the anti-Semitic message that appeared during the match.

Spokespersons for the governor did not immediately respond to NBC News’ requests for comment.

On Sunday morning, Curry, the city’s mayor, tweeted: “Jacksonville is a city made better through its diversity. Those who spread messages of hate, racism and anti-Semitism will not be able to change the heart of this city or of its people. I condemn these cowards and their cowardly messages.”

Rep. John Rutherford (right), who represents Jacksonville in the House, tweeted a statement early Sunday calling the message that appeared at the football game “despicable and extremely disappointing.”

President of the Jacksonville City Council Terrance Freeman and State Representative Angie Nixon (D) also denounced Saturday’s message in statements they posted on Twitter.

The American Jewish Committee condemned the incident and its potential impacts: “Anti-Semitism like this is horrific and dangerous to Jews everywhere.”

TIAA Bank Field and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the incidents.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried referenced anti-Semitic banners that appeared on the freeway overpass in a statement released Saturday that urged Floridians: “Do not normalize anti-Semitic messages above ‘a highway, or elsewhere’.


Chantal Da Silva and Diana Darsrath contributed.



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