Ex-NBA Player Stephen Jackson Says He Used ‘Wrong Words’ to Defend NFL Star DeSean Jackson’s Antisemitic Posts
Ex-NBA player Stephen Jackson apologized on Wednesday for using “wrong words” in defending NFL star DeSean Jackson, who was facing criticism for sharing online an antisemitic conspiracy theory attributed to Adolf Hitler.
Stephen Jackson told CNN that when he claimed a day earlier that DeSean Jackson, whom he has no relation to, was “speaking the truth” with his Instagram posts about Hitler, he had not intended to be antisemitic.
“I could have changed my words,” he said. “But there’s nothing that I said that I support any of that. There’s nothing that I said that I hate anybody. I apologize for my words, that I could have switched up, but that’s the end of it. I know I love everybody and that’s how I always stand.”
He added, “Maybe I could have been more clear about what I thought DeSean was correct about…but the people that know me, my Jewish friends, they know the last thing I was spewing was to defend Hitler or any other post…You didn’t hear a word out of my mouth saying, ‘I hate Jews.’ You didn’t hear a word out of my mouth saying, ‘I’m supporting Hitler.'”
In an Instagram video uploaded on Tuesday, Stephen Jackson had backed the Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver saying: “You know he don’t hate nobody, but he’s speaking the truth of the facts that he knows and trying to educate others.”
Stephen Jackson also spoke of social injustice and police brutality in the clip, which has since been deleted from his page, and how “none of you NFL owners spoke up on that.”
In a separate video, Stephen Jackson, who retired from the NBA in 2014, said, “I don’t give a f–k who I offend. Ain’t nobody gave a f–k about offending us all this time. Ain’t nobody standing up when people saying racist s–t about us. So no, I don’t give a f–k about offending nobody.”
He additionally spoke about Riley Cooper, a white NFL receiver who shouted a racial slur at a black security guard in 2013. Cooper was fined by the Eagles and apologized, and later signed a five-year contract extension with the team.
“I spoke on exactly what I agreed with, and they was handling him different than they was handling Cooper,” Stephen Jackson told CNN. “That’s the end of it. They can twist it how they want, but that’s exactly what it is. I don’t hate nobody.”
“I was speaking on equality — why they wasn’t handling Cooper and DeSean Jackson any other way. Like I said, they can twist it how they want to.”
Stephen Jackson will be hosting an Instagram Live discussion with Rabbi David Wolpe, leader of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, on Thursday evening.
Earlier in the week, Stephen Jackson took to Instagram to show support for notorious antisemite and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.