How anti-Semitic are New England Patriots fans?

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith made headlines yesterday when he (sort of nonsensically) accused the Philadelphia Eagles of making roster decisions on the basis of race. But the idea of a racist team in the modern NFL is not so far-fetched — it’s probably just playing in Foxborough.

Suspicions were raised last year, when the Patriots’ official Twitter account shared the following:

patriots hate

And, unsurprisingly, this headline appeared four short days later:

Do the New England Patriots Prefer White Players?

I won’t bother excerpting the article — feel free to read it yourself — but I will leave this image white here for your consideration:

Oh, and I almost forgot that the team is planning to visit a famous White house sometime this summer. So it’s pretty clear the Pats have an issue with race as an organization — but is it possible their fans also suffer from a similar affliction, but with Jews?

The latest evidence comes after the team declined Darrelle Revis’s option for 2015, freeing him to sign with any team. Today, he signed with the Jets for $70 million, an astonishing $39m of it guaranteed:

Disgruntled Patriots fans wasted no time taking to Twitter to discuss the move. But rather than celebrating the enhanced level of racial purity their team will achieve with Revis’s departure, they instead began to accuse the Pats of being “cheap”. A tiny sampling:

Seriously, just search Twitter for “patriots cheap”: It drags on . . .

Just one obvious problem: The accusation is preposterous on its face. In a league that strictly enforces its salary cap, and ensures a high fraction of that cap is spent each year, no team could be cheap if it tried. I mean, I suppose it could skimp on non-salary expenses, like private air travel or practice facilities or coaching staffs, but the accusation here is about how the Patriots chose (not) to allocate their limited cap space. And when a team has a limited sum of money to spend, choosing not to spend $25 million of it — the amount Revis would have been owed by New England — on one cornerback isn’t thrift; it’s common cents. The money is going to be spent one way or another: the question is not “How much?”, but “How?”

And since I hope Patriots fans aren’t unspeakably stupid — which is what it would take for so many of them to legitimately believe releasing Revis had anything to do with actually saving cold, hard cash — that leaves only one other possible explanation, one sadly suggested by several members of #patsnation I intentionally neglected to cite above:

And it’s hardly the first time this particular accusation has been leveled against the Patriots’ owner:

Curiously, precisely two tweets explicitly blame head coach Bill Belichick of being cheap in the past few days. Admittedly, the Patriots aren’t spending his money, but still: he’s the one who likely made the roster decision in question. And as a bonus, both tweets were posted by the same person:

By contrast, dozens of tweets — like the ones excerpted above — directly blame Kraft for the supposed penny-pinching. Of course, the owner himself happens to be a Notorious J.E.W. (as are, admittedly, many Patriots fans), and Juden have been historically derided for their supposed thrift. That “coincidence” suggests that at least some segment of the team’s fanbase resorts to baseless anti-Semitism when things don’t go their way. I shudder to imagine the horrible pogrom that would have ensued had Malcolm Butler failed to flukily intercept Russell Wilson on the goal line.

But now it makes sense why, back in 2012, Bill Simmons referred to the Seahawks QB as the Messiah: Russell Wilson, savior of the Jews.

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