On July 4, DeSean Jackson, wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, shared anti-Semitic quotes attributed to Adolf Hitler and Louis Farrakhan on his Instagram story.
The quote reads, “Because the white Jews knows that the Negroes are the real children of Israel and to keep America’s secret the Jews will blackmail America. They will extort America, their plan for world domination won’t work if the Negroes know who they were. 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 also posted a picture with positive remarks about Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam. Farrakhan has been identified to be anti-Semitic by the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center. He served as the top minister for the Nation of Islam with a deeply racist system.
It was revealed that Hitler never said the quotation highlighted by Jackson. He immediately apologized for posting falsely attributed quotations and emphasized the fact that he has no hatred towards the Jewish community.
He then also promised that he will do better and educate himself after posting the anti-Semitic message.
“Anyone who feels I have hate towards the Jewish community took my post the wrong way,” he posted. “I have no hatred in my heart toward no one! Equality. Equality.”
He also posted a video apologizing directly to the Jewish community, members of the Eagles organization, and anyone offended by his post. He explained that there was a misunderstanding of his intentions, and he just tried to uplift, unite, and encourage Black American culture with positivity and light. He hopes that everyone works together to end discrimination of all types and against all peoples.
Players’ and Eagles Organization’s Response
Jackson’s comments were fiercely criticized, and his team called on him to reiterate the seriousness of the situation. The Eagles, who drafted Jackson in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft, released a statement about Jackson’s actions. The organization spoke to Jackson about his post and admitted that the messages were offensive, harmful, and appalling, regardless of his intentions.
“They have no place in our society, and are not condoned or supported in any way by the organization,” said the Eagles.
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Zachary Banner was in shock after Jackson posted the falsely attributed quotes and praising Farrakhan on social media. The NFL player condemned anti-Semitism and said that he had trouble sleeping after the incident.
“There’s a common misbelief among black and brown people, and I know this from growing up, and I’ve listened to it, that Jewish people are just other white race,” said Banner. “You mix them up with the rest of the majority and don’t understand that they’re a minority as well.” He addressed that Jewish people are facing the same amount of hate and hardships and that the Jewish community ought to be respected as much as anyone else.
Unlike the Eagles or Banner, former NBA player Stephen Jackson defended and supported Jackson’s actions. He said that Jackson did nothing but speak the truth and was trying to educate himself. He also mentioned Riley Cooper, who shouted a racial slur to a black security guard and did not get any punishment, but rather an extension from the team.