NFL Player DeSean Jackson Speaks With Rabbi After Apologizing for Antisemitic Social Media Posts
NFL star DeSean Jackson spoke to a Philadelphia area rabbi and agreed to educate himself more about the Holocaust following his posting on social media of antisemitic material that featured Adolf Hitler and Louis Farrakhan.
The Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver apologized to Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman, both Jewish, and has been in contact with Rabbi Doniel Grodnitzky of Chabad Young Philly who will help the athlete learn about antisemitism, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark.
The Eagles’ leadership also reportedly told Jackson that he needed to make an effort to promote equality moving forward.
The three-time Pro Bowler additionally apologized to David Adelman, the chairman of Philadelphia’s Horwitz-Wasserman Holocaust Memorial Plaza, and accepted Adelman’s offer to expand his knowledge of the Holocaust.
Adelman said, “I offered to host him for an education session & tour of the plaza & he accepted. Confident we can turn this into a positive together.”
The 33-year-old Jackson on Monday shared on his Instagram Story an antisemitic conspiracy theory, attributed to Hitler, about how Jews “blackmail” America, “will extort America” and have a plan for “world domination.”
A day earlier, Jackson promoted an antisemitic speech given by Farrakhan and praised the notorious antisemite, who heads the Nation of Islam. Jackson has since deleted all of the controversial posts.
Following an apology on Instagram, Jackson issued a second apology on Tuesday evening for “unintentionally” hurting the Jewish community. He said his posts were both “insensitive and ill-informed.”
— Desean Jackson (@DeSeanJackson10) July 7, 2020
In response, the Auschwitz‑Birkenau Memorial and State Museum said Jackson should consider visiting the site of the former Nazi concentration camp.
.@DeSeanJackson10 Consider following @AuschwitzMuseum where we commemorate the victims & educate about the tragic history of #Auschwitz, a place that became a symbols of Hitler’s hateful ideology & vision.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) July 7, 2020
The NFL called DeSean’s comments “highly inappropriate, offensive and divisive and stand in stark contrast to the NFL’s values of respect, equality and inclusion.”
DeSean Jackson’s comments were offensive and uneducated; however, ignorance is no excuse for prejudice of ANY kind.
Google is too free for this to keep happening. We must all learn more and be better. Period.
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) July 8, 2020
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Zach Banner denounced antisemitism in a video he uploaded onto Twitter. He said, “We need to understand that Jewish people deal with the same amount of hate and similar hardships and hard times.”
“I’m not trying to get emotional right now but I want to preach to the Black and brown community that we need to uplift and put our arms around them just as much,” he added in the clip. “When we talk about Black Lives Matter and we talk about elevating ourselves, we can’t do that while stepping on the back of other people to elevate ourselves. That’s very, very important to me. It should be important to everyone.”
This video is to transition from the incident, and move forward as a community. Not to harp on @DeSeanJackson10 mistake, but to progress by educating ourselves. We can’t move forward while allowing ourselves to leave another minority race in the dark.#Equality pic.twitter.com/MnLnCCYzQL
— Zach Banner (@ZBNFL) July 8, 2020
Meanwhile, former NBA player Stephen Jackson, who has no relation to DeSean Jackson, defended the Hitler post, saying Desean Jackson was “speaking the truth.”
Similarly, NBA legend Larry Johnson backed Jackson and Farrakhan, writing on Twitter, “Jews want to paint that ‘Anti-Semitic’ speech brush really wide to instill fear in you WHITE AMERICA.”