Robert Kraft recently funded an ad campaign that ran in the fall of 2022. The words, which were directed as much toward Patriot fans as they were the rest of the world, were about the rise of antisemitism and everyone’s responsibility to speak up against it. In 2023, Kraft wants to extend the call to fight against all hate in all forms. See why the Patriots’ CEO has pivoted his message and why he’s taking measures to get his point across.
A New Year
In January of 2023, Kraft debuted a new ad that made a request to all marginalized groups. It asked everyone who knew what it was like to be subjected to hate to unite as one. This commercial, which ran in Boston, Kansas City, and New York on CBS affiliates, was aired during the early games of the NFL. It will air once again during the national broadcast of the Vikings-Packers face-off.
The ad correctly points out that hate is usually not a one-off. When one group hates a specific community, it rarely stops there. Those who hate Jewish people may also hate African-Americans and so on. There are numerous communities that are subjected to hate and discrimination on a regular basis, and not all of it is as obvious as people are led to believe.
In his press release, Kraft stated “Right now, the Jewish community is facing rising hate and antisemitism. Since New Year’s Day is a great time to make resolutions, I resolve to continue doing more to end hate against all people and specifically to combat Jewish hate. I hope this ad will speak to diverse communities in America and inspire them to stand up to all forms of hate as well. We are stronger when we come together and unite in the fight against hate and intolerance.”
Foundation to Combat Antisemitism
Robert Kraft started the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism (FCAS) in 2019 as a response to the rising trends of hate against the Jewish community. In March 2023, the foundation will unveil a broader campaign to get its point across. Many will notice that his organization started several years before some of the more vitriolic comments from large-name celebrities.
This is because Kraft saw how things were changing around him. Hateful sentiments rarely start as large-scale attacks, but can instead quickly snowball from a few comments here and there. Because he didn’t want that kind of hate to have a chance to get any bigger, he decided to take action.
Fighting antisemitism is so much more than treating Jewish people fairly. It means speaking up when others voice hateful opinions. Sometimes, it has nothing to do with condemning a person for their words or actions; instead, it can mean having a conversation that help both parties understand where the other is coming from. It’s not easy to have these conversations, particularly when people feel attacked for their views, but it’s also the only way we can ever make real progress in a competitive and sometimes indifferent world.
The Numbers Behind the Ads
Kraft’s campaign is more than fighting against words of hate. 55% of all religious-based hate crimes are against the Jewish community, but Jewish people only make up 2.5% of the country. One of the first things that FCAS did was to go online and respond to antisemitic comments.
They wanted to understand the hate speech that was being posted so organizers could say something meaningful to rebut it. It’s one thing to call a person a name, it’s another to engage in an active, open dialog. Robert Kraft is also having the foundation share the history of Jews, stories of Jewish people today, and tales of discrimination that they have had to cope with along the way.
When Kraft talks about his mission, he speaks about the concerning trends of global hate toward Jews. These feelings and actions have been steadily gaining traction lately, and it’s causing individuals, families, and entire communities to live in fear. Now that he’s expanding his efforts to more than just Jewish communities, his goal of combatting antisemitism is one that aligns with a much more ambitious goal to stomp out all hate.
Kraft is discouraged by some of the activities close to home. In New England, there’s been a 42% rise in antisemitic incidents. In cities, neo-Nazi groups have hung banners on the freeway encouraging drivers to hate the Jews and distributed flyers in communities asking the same. However, he was encouraged by how many Patriots fans wrote to the organization to express their distaste and disgust for the sentiments. The original ad was a response to their voices, but future ads will be a far bigger call to keep hate out of people’s minds and hearts.
Learn more about ‘Stand Up to Jewish Hate’ here: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/patriots-owner-robert-kraft-urges-stand-jewish-hate-ad-nfl-games-rcna54763