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The recent promotion of antisemitism by prominent figures in the sports and entertainment industry has left the Jewish community and our allies vulnerable and deeply concerned. Thankfully, some high-profile entertainers have taken a stand against this dangerous trend, giving us hope that anti-Jewish racism has not been sidelined in the global fight against hate.

Here are encouraging words from public figures who felt personally obligated to speak out:

“Recent incidents of antisemitic tweets and posts from sports and entertainment celebrities are a very troubling omen for the future of the Black Lives Matter movement, but so too is the shocking lack of massive indignation. Given the New Woke-fulness in Hollywood and the sports world, we expected more passionate public outrage. What we got was a shrug of meh-rage. When reading the dark squishy entrails of popular culture, meh-rage in the face of sustained prejudice is an indisputable sign of the coming Apocalypse: apathy to all forms of social justice. After all, if it’s OK to discriminate against one group of people by hauling out cultural stereotypes without much pushback, it must be OK to do the same to others. Illogic begets illogic.” Former NBA Player Kareem Abdul Jabber


“I’m proud of my Jewish heritage, and for me, it’s not just about religion. It’s about community and culture as well. I’m unusual, because I didn’t identify as Jewish until later in my life. Wherever I encountered hatred, it never really felt like it was aimed at me. It was only after I was part of this community that I learned how destructive hate is. Antisemitism is one of the oldest forms of hatred. It’s rooted in ignorance and fear. I remember experiencing a little bit of this hate in 2011 when I was called a “kike” on the football field. There’s no room for antisemitism in this world. […] I think the Black and Jewish communities have a lot of similarities. One unfortunate similarity is that they are both attacked by the ignorant and the hateful. It’s really hard to see the challenges a community can face when you’re not part of it. So what we need to do is, we need to listen, we need to learn, we need to act. We need to have those uncomfortable conversations if we’re going to have real change.” NFL player Julian Edelman

“On multiple occasions I’ve had people – both in the industry and not – be surprised to learn that I’m Jewish. They usually react with ‘Oh! Wow. You don’t really LOOK Jewish. And when I offer no response and let the statement linger they continue with some kind of defensive qualifier like ‘I mean that in a GOOD way! As if ‘looking Jewish’ – whatever that means to them – is something I should want to avoid. This makes me sick. […] It’s only helpful to find deep deep empathy and love and call out intolerance where we see it – both in ourselves, others, systems, the world. It’s painful and scary. It’s a lifelong commitment and journey.” – Actress & Singer Emmy Rossum

“Being an African American Jew who’s learning at a high level, I think there’s a narrative shift that’s happening. I think there’s an education component that needs to happen now, especially for the next generation to understand. We have to figure out a way to now teach the next generation on positivity. […] The idea of love and kindness resonates throughout the entire Torah right – throughout the entire scriptures, right? There’s more similarities between the African-Americans and Jewish people than there are differences.” Professional basketball player Amar’e Stoudemire

“I am by no means as educated as I could or should be on antisemitism or Jewish history, but it’s something that I’m working on. Non-Jewish folk, we can’t let being afraid of saying the wrong thing stop us from saying anything at all. Hate thrives in silence.” Model & Activist Munroe Bergdorf

“We need to understand that Jewish people deal with the same amount of hate and similar hardships and hard times. I’m not trying to get emotional right now, but I want to preach to the Black and Brown community that we need to uplift them and put our arms around them. Just as much when we talk “Black Lives Matter” and we talk about elevating ourselves, we can’t’ do that while stepping on the backs of other people to elevate ourselves. That’s very, very important to me, and that should be important to everyone. We can’t preach equality but in the result we’re just trying to flip the script and change the hierarchy, if that makes sense. Change your heart, put your arm around people, and let’s all uplift each other.” NFL Player Zach Banner

“I’ve seen so much antisemitic abuse, Holocaust denial, and Jew-hate recycled from genocidal regimes solely on social media, that it has literally haunted my dreams. Enough is enough.” TV Presenter Rachel Riley

“First of all, antisemitism is wrong – full stop, just like racism is wrong – full stop. We went to Pittsburgh, and if you’re going to go to Pittsburgh and talk about white supremacy and talk about hate – there is of course black and white racism to talk about – but Pittsburgh was also home to the worst attack on Jewish people in this country’s history […] You can care about your people without leaning into some of those things like antisemitism […] Farrakhan has said many antisemitic things and other things that are not cool, to put it lightly. But also, for a lot of people in the Black community, Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam were there to get their backs when they couldn’t trust the police or local politicians. It’s just super complicated. But again, antisemitism is wrong – full stop.” Comedian W. Kamau Bell

“We can’t allow Black people to be prejudiced also, especially if we’re asking for white folks to respect us, give us economic opportunity, and things like that. I’m so disappointed in these men. But I don’t understand how you beat hatred with more hatred. That stuff should never come up in your vocabulary, and it should never come up in your heart. I don’t understand it. I’m never going to accept it. And I’m asking you guys, I’m begging you guys. You guys are famous, You’ve got a platform. We’ve got to do better, man. I want allies. I don’t want to alienate anybody and to take shots at the Jewish race, the white race. I just don’t like it because it’s not right. And I had to call them on it because it’s really been on my heart.” Former NBA star Charles Barkley

“I don’t feel like you can run around and say, ‘Respect me,’ if I’m not respecting you. You can have your opinions about folks, but you can’t start on people because of their religion, just like people shouldn’t be starting on us because for our color. […] If it’s not good for people to say about us, it’s not good for us to say about anybody else. Antisemitism, any kind of racism – Racism is racism – and this is specific racism, ok? If it’s not good for you, it ain’t good for me. It is a sickness.” Actress & Comedian Whoopi Goldberg

“I tried my best to ignore the occasional anti-Semitic sermon that reminded me of the day I was told to ‘Jew the price down.’ Eventually Farrakhan’s repulsive words about the Jewish community became too much for me to ignore. I just don’t believe you need to tear another group down in order to lift your group up. Exposing lies and dismantling unjust systems I’m all here for — but talk of white devils? Nah, man, that just ain’t how I’m built. And if a popular leader were to refer to my community as Black devils, I’m sure the response would be adjusted accordingly.” Journalist & former actor LZ Granderson

“The Nazis killed six-million Jews for no reason other than that they were Jewish. As I said before, in this country we have a tremendous history of racism, the original sin of slavery, and Jews have always been the go to scapegoat in the world over the centuries. It’s enough already. African-Americans and Jews need to ban together.” Actress & Comedian Joy Behar

“I don’t count myself as religious. I don’t count myself as someone who necessarily believes in anything more than spirituality. But I do consider myself a Jew and I consider myself honored to carry on the legacy of a family who literally watched their loved ones murdered for believing in what they were taught to believe in: a heritage, a faith, equal to any other. I’ve seen a rise in antisemitism over the last couple of years, but specifically over the last week, that has been frightening and really disgraceful. I’ve seen it from people in a position who should know better, and who have an ability to really send messages to a large swath of people who could benefit from such greater messaging than intolerance, at a time when there is so much intolerance. I think we all have to do better. I think it is so disgusting that after all the lessons that have been learned from those who have messaged such hate in the past, that we would continue to make such mistakes. Yet here we are. So I hope that people can educate themselves. I hope that people can use their platforms in a way that isn’t filled with old and tired clichés. And I hope that people can simply find better things to do than discriminate.” – Actor & Comedian Josh Gad

“Why is it so hard to get cancel culture on the line when the problem is antisemitism?” – Actor Josh Melina

“Nobody gets cancelled for hating Jews – from Goebbels to Gibson.” Comedian & Writer Elon Gold