49ers Running Back Jarryd Hayne Apologizes for ‘Hurtful’ Jesus Tweets
New 49ers running back and Australian rugby star Jarryd Hayne apologized on Wednesday for a tweet in which he raised the age-old myth that Jews were historically responsible for Jesus Christ’s death.
Reaching out to his Jewish fans, and the chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission, Hayne tweeted: “To the Jewish community @DvirAbramovich #WeAreAllOne.”
Underneath, he keenly included a screenshot of a text message to elaborate on his apology: “I sincerely apologize for my tweets on July 1. I have come to understand how my words were hurtful to the Jewish community and this was not my intention. I immediately took the tweets down once I realized my words were incorrect.”
“I have and will always accept people of all faiths. I encourage my fans around the world to do the same,” he wrote, signing off “JH.”
Hayne — twice voted the National Rugby League’s top player — came under fire last week for tweeting that Jesus “was killed by his own people,” meaning Jews.
The B’nai Brith chairman called Hayne’s tweets “damaging, painful and irresponsible,” and the Anti-Defamation League’s national director, Abraham Foxman, said he was not sure Hayne understood “the pain he has caused or the impact of his words.”
The Catholic church and many Christians abandoned the narrative that Jews were responsible for Jesus’ death decades ago, after more than a thousand years of persecution and antisemitism rooted in that belief.
Hayne, with 121,000 followers on Twitter, removed two tweets posted on July 1 discussing that theory.