Robert Kraft’s Foundation to Combat Antisemitism held a meeting with the commissioners of several sports leagues this week to discuss the drastic rise in antisemitic rhetoric across the country and ways to use their sports platforms to combat it.
Founded by the New England Patriots and New England Revolution owner, FCAS is a nonprofit organization that seeks to raise awareness for and respond to antisemitism in the United States while promoting Jewish culture and stories.
Kraft was joined by the leaders of eight leagues: Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL; Adam Silver, commissioner of the NBA; Cathy Engelbert, commissioner of the WNBA; Rob Manfred, commissioner of MLB; Gary Bettman, commissioner of the NHL; Don Garber, commissioner of MLS; Jessica Berman, commissioner of the National Women’s Soccer League; and Steve Phelps, president of NASCAR.
Kraft called the meeting as a result of the recent increase in antisemitic hate of almost 400%, according to a statement from the FCAS.
In its meeting at the NFL League office in New York, the group heard from several experts on the history of antisemitism across the country and the ways in which it connects with other forms of hate.
They also brainstormed ways in which the leagues can work together and use their platforms to combat antisemitism and hate crimes in general.
“In today’s world, we have seen hate manifest itself in more ways than one, in ways that have brought divisiveness and ugliness to communities across our nation,” Kraft said in a statement. “As leaders in the sports community, we are uniquely suited to tackle this fight through our platforms. Sports brings people together in a way that nothing else can — to root for one team, and one cause. I am grateful for the willingness of these leaders to come together to discuss an issue that is so close to my heart and for their efforts to stand up to Jewish hate and all forms of hate.”
The FCAS hosted over 80 sports leaders in a similar meeting at Gillette Stadium in October. This week’s convening was held in an attempt to expand on the conversations from the October meeting.
Kraft, a longtime advocate for the eradication of antisemitism, founded the organization in 2019 after accepting the Genesis Prize, a $1 million award recognizing Jewish talent and success.