UJFU Responds to Hateful Incident at BYU Athletic Event


Dr. Jay Jacobson, Chair, Antisemtism Task Force,United Jewish Federation of Utah
Alex Shapiro, Executive Director, United Jewish Federation of Utah
Ron Zamir, Chair, Community Relations Committee, United Jewish Federation of Utah
Luna Banuri, Executive Director, Utah Muslim Civic League
Jose Vicente Borjon Lopez Coterilla, Mexican Consul for Utah

Community Partners Against Hate Respond to Hatred Displayed at BYU Athletic Event

SALT LAKE CITY – August 30, 2022 

The United Jewish Federation of Utah and its Partners against Hate are concerned that flagrant acts of hatred continue in our public spaces and sports arenas. Words and threats like those hurled Friday at an African American athlete at BYU during an intercollegiate volleyball game are intended to intimidate individuals and their community. They do bring shame and loss of respect to institutions and those present who permit this to occur repeatedly.

We agree with Governor Cox that this behavior was disgusting. We share his sadness that others didn’t stop them. We welcome the response from BYU that acknowledged failure to act quickly and their subsequent banning the offender from their athletic events. We recognize the good intentions of their Athletic Director who acknowledged falling short and then urged fans to treat everybody with respect. Institutional responses, are rarely as effective as the immediate response of peers and others close by. Their silence signals acceptance and makes them and all of us who stand by in silence culpable as well.

As Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Hate crimes and incidents targeting all minorities are escalating to record high levels in the U.S.  Many of us are harassed, threatened, and endangered. All of us must now learn how to intercede and alert responsible authorities to intervene.

Our Federation has invited leaders of targeted communities and government officials responsible for the safety and respect of all citizens to join us at The Eradicate Hate Global Summit conference in September. We know that offensive behavior and threats to minorities are especially common on our campuses. If a concerned leader from BYU or any of our other colleges and universities would like to join us we’d love to hear from them

About United Jewish Federation of Utah

Since 1943 we have been committed to care for and build a vibrant Jewish community. We bring together Jews from different generations, backgrounds, and levels of observance to celebrate our shared history and peoplehood. Together with our network of local agencies and synagogues, we are creating a community that is welcoming for all.


This Press Release was published in The Salt Lake Tribune.