The rivalry between the University of Georgia and the University of Florida is the stuff of legends. Every year, Georgia-Florida Weekend is a huge moneymaker for the hosting town, with the kind of constant partying that goes along with sports fandom. But this year, there was an uninvited guest who popped up right as the fans were streaming out of the stadium: antisemitism.
After the Bulldogs crushed the Gators 42-20 (sorry, I’m a UGA alum and I had to brag for the Dawgs), fans were treated to a message projected onto the side of the stadium that read “Kanye was right about the Jews” while Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was still on the grounds.
As of this writing, DeSantis, who has remained silent on the rise of Nazism in his state, has done nothing to condemn the message, while both universities released a joint statement Sunday morning.
— FLORIDA (@UF) October 30, 2022
The statement from both schools comes less than a day after the NBA denounced antisemitism after a tweet promoting an antisemitic movie from Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving. West’s Twitter account was restricted and his antisemitic tweet was removed by the social media platform earlier this month.
The NBA has released a statement that appears to be related to Kyrie Irving's promotion of an antisemitic film and book: pic.twitter.com/I9NV2ONes2
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) October 29, 2022
Twitter users shared videos of the Jacksonville incident, while the Mayor remained silent along with the Governor.
While Ron DeSantis lets his state burn like a Tesla to run an imaginary presidential campaign (in NY for equally revolting Les Zeldin and on stage at a Puke Bryan concert), not everyone here is mute on #NazisInFlorida. #DefeatDeSantis #NeverAgainIsNow pic.twitter.com/S2NBQb7372
— Lesley Abravanel (@lesleyabravanel) October 30, 2022
1/ This is the Mayor of Jacksonville, Fl. He took to Twitter to thank Gov DeSantis for being at the Florida-Georgia game, but hasn't tweeted against the rash of anti-Semitism in his city this weekend, incl'ing a projection at the game reading“Kanye was right about the Jews” &… https://t.co/YtFg4ky76s
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) October 30, 2022
This was projected at end of Florida/Georgia game in Jacksonville. DeSantis was also at game and am sure he will say nothing about this as usual. pic.twitter.com/NIZF6m5ZGj
— Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLaw) October 30, 2022
Horrible to see that someone projected an anti-Semitic message on to TIAA Bank Field at the end of the sold-out Georgia-Florida game. A relative sent this to me. It’s in reference to comments Ye (formerly Kanye West) made recently.
This hate has to stop. Period. pic.twitter.com/kBKYUx7hIh
— Vic Micolucci WJXT (@WJXTvic) October 30, 2022
The owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars also made a statement disavowing the hate speech in his team’s host city. “I’m personally dismayed to learn of antisemitic rhetoric and messages that marred the experience Saturday at the Florida-Georgia game,” said Shad Khan, who is with his team in London for Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos. “I know this is not representative of our community, but it happened and it’s outrageous. It’s hurtful and wrong. It has to stop. I’m asking everyone to make it their mission to end the ignorance and hatred. Let’s be better.”
— Rev. & Prof. Cornell William Brooks (@CornellWBrooks) October 30, 2022
Local residents also voiced their anger over the hateful messaging during an otherwise fun weekend, not!
Antisemitism has no place anywhere on this planet. I hate all hate speech, the “-isms” and “-phobias” that have risen thanks to ignorance of another culture. I know I’m not going to undo millennia of systemic hatred in an opinion piece on the internet, but it would just be really great if everybody who claims to be a “Christian” and quotes the Bible would ever actually live in the way they claim they do. Until then, it’s essential that hate speech is always called out and called what it is.
— Tara Dublin ((Voted Early)) (@taradublinrocks) October 23, 2022
Tara Dublin is a woefully underappreciated and unrepresented writer currently shopping a super cool novel that has nothing to do with politics while also fighting fascism on the daily.
Follow her on Twitter @taradublinrocks.
Editor’s note: This is an opinion column that solely reflects the opinions of the author.