NFL Star DeSean Jackson Apologizes for Posting Antisemitic Conspiracy Theory Attributed to Hitler
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson apologized on Tuesday for promoting an antisemitic conspiracy theory about Jews attributed to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
“I just want to first off extend an apology on behalf of me and what I stand for because I’m one that’s fair. I never want to put any race down or any people down,” the 33-year-old said to his 1.4 million followers in an Instagram video. “My posts were not intended for anybody, of any race, to feel any type of way, especially the Jewish community. When I posted what I posted I definitely didn’t mean it to the extent that you guys took it. I just want to let you guys know that I am very apologetic.”
Jackson’s apology was in regards to a post he had uploaded on his Instagram Story on Monday. He shared a page from a book that had a highlighted passage in which Hitler was said to have claimed Jews “blackmail” America.
The passage from the book The Hidden Treasure That Lies in Plain Sight 4: The Day of the Lord and the End of America states: “Hitler said, ‘because the white Jews knows [sic] that the Negroes are the real Children of Israel and to keep Americas secret the Jews will blackmail America… The white citizens of America will be terrified to know that all this time they’ve been mistreating and discriminating and lynching the Children of Israel.'”
Jackson later deleted the book page and then reposted it on his Story with the caption: “ANYONE WHO FEELS I HAVE HATE TOWARDS THE JEWISH COMMUNITY TOOK MY POST THE WRONG WAY I HAVE NO HATRED IN MY HEART TOWARDS NO ONE !! EQUALITY EQUALITY.”
The NFL player then uploaded another Instagram Story highlighting the same book page, but with a focus on a passage stating: “The[y] will extort America, their plan for world domination won’t work if the Negroes know who they were.”
According to an excerpt of the book found on Google Books, the statement is referring to Jews.
In his apology, Jackson said, “I probably never should have posted anything that Hitler did because Hitler was a bad person and I know that. I was just trying to uplift African Americans and slavery, and just enlighten my people. I didn’t intend any harm or any hatred towards any people…I have no hatred in my heart.”
He further said in the video’s caption: “Hitler has caused terrible pain to Jewish people like the pain African-Americans have suffered. We should be together fighting anti-Semitism and racism. This was a mistake to post this and I truly apologize for posting it and sorry for any hurt I have caused.”
The Philadelphia Eagles — who signed Jackson to a three-year contract in 2019 — published a statement on Tuesday saying the messages Jackson had shared were “offensive, harmful and absolutely appalling.”
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) July 7, 2020
Former Eagles President Joe Banner, who is Jewish, called Jackson’s comments “indefensible.”
If a white player said anything about AA’s as outrageous as what Desean Jackson said about Jews tonight there would at least be a serious conversation about cutting him and a need for a team meeting to discuss. Which would be totally appropriate. Absolutely indefensible.
— Joe Banner (@JoeBanner13) July 7, 2020
Rabbi Abraham Cooper — associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center — asked, “Would anyone be allowed to play in NFL if a player invoked David Duke or other White Supremacists screeds demonizing Blacks? Well NFL? Well Eagles? Whatever happened to America’s level playing field?”
Jackson was also criticized on Monday for posting on his Instagram Story a clip of Melinda Gates talking about a coronavirus vaccine that had the headline “Farrakhan Warns Against Vaccine.”
He captioned the video: “DISGUSTING ASS [PEOPLE] !! YOU GET THE VACCINATION FIRST.. DUMB BROAD !!”
Notorious antisemite and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan warned against using a potential coronavirus vaccine, claiming its a conspiracy to depopulate the earth, during a Fourth of July address he gave that was also riddled with antisemitic remarks against Jews and Israel.
Jackson posted a video from Farrakhan’s Independence Day speech and expressed admiration for him by writing in the video’s caption, “#farrakhan This man powerful I hope everyone got a chance to watch this !! Don’t be blinded. Know what’s going on !!”
The Anti-Defamation League of Philadelphia on Tuesday said it was “deeply troubling” to see Jackson express support for Farrakhan.
The ADL added, “We have reached out to the @Eagles about this and call on Jackson to immediately apologize. We urge Mr. Jackson to use his platform as a professional athlete to promote unity and positivity, rather than the divisive words of a bigot. Learn more about Farrakhan’s disturbing history of hate and antisemitism.”