DeSean Jackson Accepts Fellow NFL Wide Receiver Julian Edelman’s Invite to Learn More About Holocaust
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman got a positive response from fellow NFL player DeSean Jackson after the Jewish athlete offered to educate the latter about the Holocaust.
On Thursday, Edelman, whose father is Jewish, invited the Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver to go with him to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC and the nearby National Museum of African American History and Culture. Afterward, they could have “those uncomfortable conversations” that were needed “if we’re gonna have real change,” Edelman said in the Instagram video.
“I have seen DeSean play in his career, make outstanding football plays, we communicated over social media,” Edelman added. “I have nothing but respect for his game. I know he said some ugly things, but I do see an opportunity to have a conversation.”
Edelman’s invitation was in response to antisemitic Instagram posts involving Nazi leader Adolf Hitler that Jackson uploaded earlier in the week, which he has since deleted and apologized for.
On Friday morning, Edelman shared on Twitter that he spoke with Jackson the previous night and they were “making plans to use our experiences to educate one another and grow together.”
DeSean and I spoke for awhile last night. We’re making plans to use our experiences to educate one another and grow together. Stay tuned.
— Julian Edelman (@Edelman11) July 10, 2020
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman thanked Edelman for his efforts, saying the following:
Thank you Julian for standing up against anti-Semitism & for offering a long needed conversation among Jews & African-Americans who have far more in common than they may know. It was great getting to know you in Israel and I am proud of you. Keep talking! https://t.co/TvS8CxMwbS
— David M. Friedman (@USAmbIsrael) July 10, 2020
More and more NFL players are speaking out regarding the antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jackson shared on Instagram.
Jewish athlete Mitch Schwartz, an offensive tackle for the Kansas City Chiefs, said in a statement, “My hope is we can use this moment to shed light on and bring awareness to the hate and oppression the Jewish Community still faces while standing strong with the Black Lives Matter movement. We can only have change if we denounce racism and bias in all forms. Our platforms as athletes are a powerful tool, and with them comes immense responsibility. We can all do better.”
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On Thursday, Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward said in a Twitter post that he believed “Desean was wrong.”
In a separate tweet, he added, “All we can ask for is an apology and actions behind the change. Time for growth.”
Heyaward also talked about the “ignorance and injustice” Pittsburgh experienced by the deadly Tree of Life synagogue massacre in October 2018.
On Thursday, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie announced the completion of his production company’s first documentary film project, “The Meaning of Hitler.”
The film “put a provocative spotlight on our culture’s fascination with Hitler and Nazism as it sets itself against the backdrop of the current rise of white supremacy, the normalization of anti-Semitism and the weaponization of history itself,” according to Deadline.