UF condemns antisemitic messages displayed at Florida-Georgia game

Antisemitic message projected across TIAA Bank Field
Published: Oct. 30, 2022 at 3:06 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB/CNN) - Bitter rivals are coming together to condemn an antisemitic message displayed at the Florida-Georgia football game in Jacksonville on Saturday.

In a joint statement the University of Florida and the University of Georgia stated the following:

“We strongly condemn the antisemitic hate speech projected outside TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville after the Florida-Georgia football game Saturday night and the other antisemitic messages that have appeared in Jacksonville. The University of Florida and the University of Georgia together denounce these and all acts of antisemitism and other forms of hatred and intolerance. We are proud to be home to strong and thriving Jewish communities at UGA and UF, and we stand together against hate.”

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During the Georgia-Florida game, an antisemitic message that read “Kanye was right about the Jews” was projected across the TIAA Bank Field Saturday evening, according to our news partners at News4Jax.

Another message displayed on banners hung from an overpass on the Westside, just off Chaffee Road and Interstate 10. It read “End Jewish Supremacy in America” and “Honk if you know it’s the Jews.”

The messages follow a similar stunt one week earlier where a banner was held over a busy Los Angles freeway. Ye, formerly known as Kanye, has been dropped by many of his business partners after a string of comments targeting Jewish people.

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The Chabad Jewish Student Centers at both Florida and Georgia released a statement.

Some Things are Bigger than Football

The meeting between our two great football teams was marred this year, by a vandal who projected an anti-Semitic message (in support of Kanye West's recent comments) onto the back side of the scoreboard after the game.

Jewish Gators and Jewish Bulldogs are united with good people all over the world in condemning anti-Semitism, hate and bias of any kind. It cannot and will not be tolerated.

If any student or community member were disturbed by the display, our doors are open, please reach out to us. We are always here for you and we will listen and help.

While the message is condemned by good people at both the University of Georgia and the University of Florida, it does show the power of projecting a message.

The internet, and even a simple projector gives anyone the ability to spread any message, even one of hate, to any number of people. It also empowers us however, to do the opposite.

In 1970, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, broadcasted his message from Brooklyn, New York, to cities and countries all around the world. Using the technology of satellite TV and radio, the Rebbe's words, teaching Torah and Goodness, were heard live all around the world.

Today, each of us possess in our pocket a computer that would be unbelievable even a generation ago. Our words can reach others around the world, yet this tremendous blessing comes with a tremendous opportunity and responsibility.

The Rebbe taught us that the words we use create the reality around us. He promoted positive language, helped popularize terms like special needs, and urged us to consider the power of speech.

In keeping with the teachings of Judaism, our response to words of darkness must be ones of light. And as the Rebbe always taught, in a place of darkness a small amount of light has a great effect. Each of us can do an extra good deed to help someone in need, and in that way bring increased light to our campus, community and world.

We deeply appreciate the support of all those who have reached out, and all who support our dear Jewish communities during this time. Such actions and displays of hate are not a reflection of our beautiful University of Florida and University of Georgia communities.

Chabad Jewish Student Center at the University of Florida & Chabad Jewish Student Center at the University of Georgia

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