$25 million gift from Robert Kraft to fight bias
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft announced that he and his family have created a $25 million campaign aimed at stopping hateful acts against Jewish people.
Kraft and his Foundation to Combat Antisemitism launched the “Stand Up to Jewish Hate” campaign on Monday behind the donation with hopes of attacking an issue he believes is only getting worse.
“This is about doing what’s right for America, to keep our democracy thriving and keep equal opportunities for all people,” Kraft said on “Sports Seriously” with USA Today’s Ralphie Aversa. “When this happens to one group, it’s going to keep growing and happen with all groups.”
Kraft cited the Oct. 27, 2018, attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, where 11 worshippers were killed and seven were wounded. It was the deadliest attack on Jewish people in American history, and Kraft believes antisemitism across the country has only increased since.
“To me, ever since that point, it’s been growing and growing fast,” Kraft said.
Kraft founded the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism in 2019 after receiving Israel’s Genesis Award, an honor given annually to an individual “for their outstanding professional achievement, contribution to humanity, and commitment to Jewish values and Israel.”
The Patriots owner brought his campaign to the forefront during the 2022 NFL season after Ye (formerly Kanye West) posted antisemitic statements on Twitter and Kyrie Irving shared the link to a film featuring antisemitic tropes. He funded an ad urging people to stand up to Jewish hate that aired during an October matchup between his team and the New York Jets.
The “Stand Up to Jewish Hate” campaign will feature more commercials and blue squares in the forms of emojis and pins “as a unifying symbol of support and solidarity.”
Kraft said he will help lead April’s March of the Living in Poland, a walk between concentration camps. He said Meek Mill and other “well-known friends” will be in attendance as he tries to open the eyes of people with different backgrounds.
“I see what’s happening in America today, not unlike what happened in Germany in the late ‘30s, and it makes me very sad,” Kraft said. “So I said, ‘What can I do to try to make an impact or a difference?’”