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Michigan State under fire for image of Hitler displayed on Jumbotron

By CM Chaney · October 24, 2023

In brief…

  • Michigan State University faces backlash for a pre-game trivia slideshow featuring Adolf Hitler at Spartan Stadium.
  • An undisclosed staff member was suspended amid an investigation to determine intent or oversight in the incident.
  • The university severed ties with the "third-party source" responsible for the image, taking responsibility for content displayed on its video boards.
Michigan State University faces criticism for a pre-game trivia slideshow displaying Adolf Hitler on Spartan Stadium's jumbotron before their game against rival Michigan.  Ken Lund/Wikimedia

Michigan State University is under fire once again, this time the result of a pre-game trivia slideshow that depicted Adolf Hitler on Spartan Stadium’s jumbotron before Michigan State’s showdown with rival Michigan.

A university spokesperson disclosed on Sunday that an unidentified staff member was linked to the occurrence, but it remained unclear whether it was an intentional act or stemmed from a lapse in oversight.

“An initial assessment was conducted, and an involved employee has been identified and suspended with pay pending the results of an investigation,” Alan Haller, a Michigan State vice president and its director of athletics, said in a statement obtained by NBC News. “The investigation will determine any future appropriate actions.”

Screenshot of the Spartan Stadium jumbotron shared by X user @SonofHas  John Hasson / @SonofHas / Twitter

University representative Matt Larson expressed profound regret on behalf of the institution for the display and attributed the image to a “third-party source.” He further announced that the university had terminated its association with the source.

“Michigan State Athletics is responsible for all content shown on its video boards,” Haller said. “Before it was displayed, the video was not viewed in its entirety by anyone in athletics, exposing a failure in our process.”

“Ultimately, it is my responsibility to make sure all those who interact with Spartan Athletics feel safe, valued and respected. I apologize for the pain it has caused our community.”