Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

(CNN) — Michigan State University apologized for displaying a picture of Adolf Hitler on the videoboard during a trivia quiz before the school’s football game against in-state rivals the University of Michigan on Saturday.

“MSU is aware that inappropriate content by a third-party source was displayed on the videoboard prior to the start of tonight’s football game,” Michigan State athletic director Matt Larson said in a statement. “We are deeply sorry for the content that was displayed, as this is not representative of our institutional values.”

Photos began circulating on social media before kickoff of Hitler on the videoboard at Spartan Stadium with a trivia question asking where he was born.

The university will stop using the third-party source the image came from and implement stronger screening procedures for all videoboard content going forward, Larson added.

The apology is part of a grim series of events for Michigan State’s football program, which lost Saturday night’s game against its rival Michigan by a 49-0 score. The university has also moved to fire head coach Mel Tucker related to accusations of sexual harassment, just two years after he signed a massive 10-year, $95 million contract.

The trivia also comes amid heightened tensions on many college campuses related to the Israel-Gaza war and amid concerns of rising antisemitism and Islamophobia.

The quiz video was from a YouTube page called The Quiz Channel, the university said. Videos from the same YouTube page has been used all season before each home game, the school said.

“Prior to last night, the content has not been objectionable,” the school said. “As the statement acknowledges, we will implement stronger screening of all content to better ensure something like this never happens again.”

Floris van Pallandt, the creator of The Quiz Channel, told CNN in an email the university’s use of his channel’s content was unauthorized.

“I was completely unaware of this and only learned content created by me was being used due to this occurrence,” he wrote. “While I provide customised content packages for businesses, the utilisation of my publicly accessible YouTube content for stadium entertainment is highly questionable to say the least.”

Van Pallandt said his channel is now receiving a surge of negative feedback.

“MSU’s subsequent statement appears to allude to a third-party source, which seems to suggest The Quiz Channel as that very source. If this is accurate, that is unacceptable to me, as it is unacceptable for The Quiz Channel to bear reputational, performance, or financial repercussions due to MSU’s unsolicited use of our content,” he wrote.

Further, he defended the question about Hitler’s birthplace as legitimate, if not necessarily in that context.

“The trivia question displayed at the stadium is a legitimate one, and it’s imperative we don’t shy away from history’s more dark facets. Nonetheless, I would certainly not have chosen this particular question for a live stadium audience,” he wrote.

(Copyright (c) 2023 CNN. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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