A Michigan State fan in the stands during the second half of the Spartans' 49-0 loss to the Michigan Wolverines at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023.

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Michigan State president issues statement on Hitler trivia incident

Michigan State interim president Teresa K. Woodruff issued a statement to the university community Sunday, apologizing for an incident involving the display of Adolf Hitler’s image on the Spartan Stadium scoreboard prior to the football team’s game with Michigan Saturday.

Hitler’s visage appeared in Spartan Stadium as part of a video trivia game that came from a third party, according to university officials.

Hitler was responsible for the genocide of approximately 6 million Jews.

Violence in Israel and Palestine has risen in recent days, as have antisemitic incidents.

“Dear Spartan Community,” Woodruff’s message read, “I am deeply sorry for the image displayed at Spartan Stadium, which made many of our community feel alienated and unsafe. It was unacceptable. I asked last evening for a full review of this university event and will take all necessary steps to align our messages and actions to our values.

“I will work with our Jewish community and every member of minoritized populations to ensure Spartans feel that this is a place where everyone can live, work, go to class and attend events that are welcoming.”

The day before, Michigan State Associate AD/Communications Matt Larson issued a statement that likewise promised review and changes going forward.

“MSU is aware that inappropriate content by a third-party source was displayed on the video board prior to the start of tonight’s football game,” his statement said. “We are deeply sorry for the content that was displayed, as this is not representative of our institutional values. MSU will not be using the third-party source going forward and will implement stronger screening and approval procedures for all video board content in the future.”

The Wolverines won Saturday’s game 49-0.

The Hitler trivia incident is the latest controversy surrounding Michigan State’s athletic department.

In late September, the university fired head football coach Mel Tucker due to sexual harassment allegations. Tucker allegedly engaged in inappropriate behavior with sexual assault survivor and awareness speaker Brenda Tracy.

Michigan State informer Tucker via letter that stated his actions with a female contractor (Tracy) left the university “subject to public disrespect and ridicule.”

Prior to the controversy with Tucker, the MSU athletic department was embroiled in the Larry Nassar abuse case, in which a sports doctor employed by the university was convicted of multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
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