Combatting Antisemtism at the Nets Game


Lily Freilich ‘25

Modern society revolves around celebrities and social media — it is a society whose citizens follow and idolize these known people and their platforms. What these prominent people believe typically become trends, and their supporters are swayed to join their side. There has always been antisemitism, from Ancient Egypt to modern-day New York City. Recently, the discrimination rate against Jews has reached its highest point in 50 years. Considering the patterns of the current culture, it is terrifying and dangerous how celebrities can — and have — used their platforms to spread their negative beliefs concerning Judaism and other religions.

 Kyrie Irving was until recently a guard on The Nets, the professional basketball team representing Brooklyn. Irving tagged and defended an antisemitic movie in a tweet, causing the Nets to suspend him. 

In response to the professional basketball player’s appalling posts, which were just an addition to the culminating antisemitic issue, eight brave people decided to take action. These Jewish fans sat courtside at a Nets game, only a few days after Kyrie’s horrid tweet, wearing T-shirts that read, “Fight Antisemitism.” They wanted to show that there should be absolutely zero tolerance for antisemitism, and motivate others to join them in combatting antisemitism. It was a peaceful message, not a protest, and there was no harm caused to anyone. Lindsay Haimm, one of the peaceful protesters said, “We didn’t see any hate at the game itself or after the game. During the game we definitely realized that people were noticing and talking about our shirts, but nothing negative was said. We received so much support from the Jewish community, which really meant a lot to us. I am very proud of the overall experience and for being able to have the chance to take a stand against antisemitism. ” While there was a huge amount of support from Jews and non-Jews, there was also a barrage of negative comments all over social media reiterating some of Kanye’s hateful comments. Somehow, this protest triggered hateful people to say this was proof that Jews own the teams and own the media. Of course, there is zero connection or validity to these statements and is another reason that we continue to stand up and stand strong for what is right.