WASHINGTON (JTA) — The National Football League moved up the start time for a New York Jets home game to accommodate Jewish fans celebrating the High Holidays.
The Jets will play the Tennessee Titans at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27, instead of the originally scheduled 4:15 p.m., allowing Jewish fans to get home before sundown and the start of Yom Kippur, the league announced Friday.
The Jets home opener the previous week falls out on the second day of Rosh HaShanah.
In a letter Thursday to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, according to media reports, Jets owner Woody Johnson proposed the change.
"I am extemely disappointed with the league’s decision to schedule us to play at home on consecutive Sundays that are in direct conflict with the Jewish High Holy Days," Johnson wrote in the letter. "There has long been an understanding that neither the Jets nor the Giants fans should have to bear completely the brunt of this issue since we are in the largest Jewish market in the country."
The New York Giants requested that they play on the road for both of those weeks, and the change means that both New York teams will play at the same time on different networks. The Jets reportedly never put in a formal request, but believed there was an understanding that the NFL would not schedule a New York team to play at home for two weeks in a row during the High Holidays.