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


Florida officials are condemning multiple antisemitic messages that appeared recently in Jacksonville — at least one of which expressed support for recent antisemitic comments made by Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, marking at least the second such public statement in a week that publicly bolstered his remarks.

Video posted to social media shows an antisemitic message flashing across an electronic screen that referenced support for Ye’s recent comments at the TIAA Bank Field stadium in Jacksonville, where the universities of Florida’s and Georgia’s football teams squared off on Saturday.

The same antisemitic message appears to have flashed across at least one other nearby building soon after appearing at the stadium, another video shows.

An antisemitic message referencing Kanye West was projected on a building in Jacksonville, Fla.
An antisemitic message referencing Kanye West was projected on a building in Jacksonville, Fla.Obtained by NBC News

The message was the same one shared by an antisemitic hate group that hung a banner over a Los Angeles freeway stating, “Kanye is right about the Jews.”

A number of people raised their arms in a Nazi salute as they stood behind both that banner and another sign that read: “Honk if you know.” A third banner promoted a video platform that streams antisemitic content operated by the Goyim Defense League, a network of antisemitic 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 for espousing vitriolic #antisemitism and white supremacist ideology.”

Ye’s antisemitic comments led various companies to suspend their working relationships with the rapper this week, including Adidas, Gap, luxury fashion house Balenciaga and talent agency CAA. He was also locked out of his Twitter account and restricted from posting on Instagram earlier this month after he posted antisemitic messages on the platform.

The Florida and Georgia football teams released a joint statement on Sunday condemning the antisemitic message that appeared at the Saturday football game, as well as others that recently appeared throughout the city, including banners displayed from a highway overpass on Jacksonville’s Interstate 10, according to a Friday tweet from a local reporter.

“The University of Florida and the University of Georgia together denounce these and all acts of antisemitism [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 from Jacksonville’s mayor, Lenny Curry. As of Sunday afternoon, he had not made any public comments on the antisemitic message that appeared at the game.

Spokespeople for the governor did not immediately respond to requests for comment from NBC News.

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

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

Jacksonville City Council President Terrance Freeman and state Rep. 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: “Antisemitism like this is horrifying and dangerous for Jews everywhere.”

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

Florida Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried referenced the antisemitic banners that appeared over the highway overpass in a statement released Saturday that urged Floridians: “Do not normalize Antisemitic messages above a freeway, or anywhere else.”


Chantal Da Silva and Diana Dasrath contributed.





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