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Antisemitic messages shake Jacksonville

Antisemitic messages appeared around Jacksonville, including this Interstate 10 overpass.
Antisemitic messages appeared around Jacksonville, including this Interstate 10 overpass.

Antisemitic messages displayed around Jacksonville — including TIAA Bank Field — brought outrage from state and local leaders and questions about the people responsible.

An electronic message appeared during the weekend on the back of TIAA Bank field's scoreboard saying "Kanye was right about the jews," a reference to Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, who posted antisemitic comments on social media earlier in the week.

Other hate messages were reported on an Interstate 10 overpass on the Westside and on the Arlington Expressway.

The displays came as national attention was focused on Jacksonville for the Florida-Georgia football game at TIAA Bank Field. The messages were reported by media across the country.

The Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida called the messages "unnerving and a scare tactic." The federation vowed to harden security at its facilities and work with local leaders to battle anti-semitism. "We are harnessing our outrage to bring action to our community," the group said in a statement.

Public figures ranging from Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan to politicians from both parties reacted with disgust.

Mayor Lenny Curry condemned "these cowards and their cowardly messages."

"Jacksonville is a city made better because of its diversity," Curry tweeted. "Those who spread messages of hate, racism and antisemitism will not be able to change the heart of this city or her people."

State Rep. Angie Nixon, a Democrat, accused the GOP of emboldening racists and said the “anti-Black, anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ hate has to be kicked out of our state and city.”

Khan released a statement from London, where the Jaguars were playing the Denver Broncos.

"I know this is not representative of our community, but it happened and it's outrageous," Khan said. "It's hurtful and wrong. It has to stop."

Randy comes to Jacksonville from the South Florida Sun Sentinel, where, as metro editor, he led investigative coverage of the Parkland school shooting that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for public service. He has spent more than 40 years in reporting and editing positions in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and Florida. You can reach Randy at or on Twitter, @rroguski.