NYHS basketball TikTok sparks antisemitic comments


Elianna Rothstein, The Mane Idea, Northwest Yeshiva High School, Seattle

On Wednesday, Dec. 14, a TikTok posted by a referee from the NYHS Lions basketball game blew up with hundreds of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel comments.

The video posted by @refereeguru comprised two clips, one of NYHS students waving Israeli flags at the basketball game and the other of the boys’ team running drills. The 20-second clip was captioned, “For Israel, Jewish religion and the love of the game. It does not matter who you are, what you are, basketball will always love you back.”

In just one day, the video received over 26,000 views, 250 comments and 1,000 likes. The referee’s posts usually receive fewer than 500 views. The comments included Palestinian flag emojis, “free Palestine” and hateful comments toward Israel and Jews.

“Did you guys play Donda Academy?” one person commented, referring to the K-12 grade school founded by Kanye West, now known as Ye, who has been in the news and lost sponsorships recently due to his anti-Semitic comments. Another commenter said “I’d rip yalls flag and spit on it🇵🇸” and another said “Quit normalizing genocide against Palestine 🇵🇸.”


“I didn’t expect any less from the comments, but I was pretty disturbed,” said boys team captain Daniel Negrin.

Head of School Jason Feld said the video has been reported to the Anti-Defamation League, SAFE Washington and the Seattle Police Department’s Bias Crime Coordinator. Since the comments contain no direct threats, no further action will be taken at this time.

On Thursday, Feld sent out an email to parents and spoke with NYHS students. “We should continue to rise above the hate and represent ourselves as a kiddush Hashem with unapologetic pride in our Jewish identity and love of Israel,” he said in the statement.

This story originally appeared in The NYHS Mane Idea on Dec. 16, 2022.