Robert Kraft urges 'Stand up to Jewish hate' in ad running during NFL games

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft co-sponsored a TV ad on Sunday urging NFL fans to "Stand up to Jewish hate" in response to a spate of antisemitic messages in the sports world and beyond.

The 30-second spot ran across broadcasts of NFL games on Sunday with a text-on-screen message addressing antisemitism. It was sponsored by the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism and the Robert K. Kraft Family Foundation.

"Antisemitism is hate," the ad reads. "Hate against Jews. For being Jewish. Recently many of you have spoken up. We hear you today. We must hear you tomorrow.

"There are less than 8 million Jewish people in this country. Fewer than are watching this game. They need you to add your voice. #StandUpToJewishHate."

Kraft is Jewish and has repeatedly used his platform to raise awareness combatting antisemitism. Israel awarded him the 2019 Genesis Prize "for his commitment to Israel, social justice and equality." The award is commonly known as the "Jewish Nobel" prize.

The ad ran amid the backdrop of repeated antisemitic messaging in sports and beyond. Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving recently tweeted a link to a movie criticized for promoting antisemitism. The tweet prompted Nets owner Joseph Tsai to criticize Irving for his support of "a film based on a book full of anti-semitic disinformation."

FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft arrives at U.S. Bank Stadium before the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, in Minneapolis. Every marriage has its ups and downs. So New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft urges everyone not to read too much into any reported discord in his organization. Kraft praised Bill Belichick on Monday, March 26, 2018, when asked about some of the unusual decisions the coach made in the Super Bowl loss to Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)
Robert Kraft is Jewish and has repeatedly used his platform to raise awareness combatting antisemitism. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The NBA, meanwhile, released a statement declaring: "Hate speech of any kind is unacceptable and runs counter to the NBA’s values of equality, inclusion and respect." Irving declined to apologize for the tweet and was combative with reporters when asked about it on Saturday. He stood by his support of the movie and did not delete the tweet.

During Saturday's college football game between Florida and Georgia, somebody projected a message on the exterior of Jacksonville's TIAA Bank Field stadium repeating an antisemitic message in support of Kanye West. West has been widely condemned in recent weeks for his anti-Jewish stances as businesses have severed ties with the Grammy-winning rapper.

Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown and Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald split with West's Donda Sports agency on Tuesday. Their decision arrived after Adidas and several other high-profile business partners disassociated themselves from West.