Shark Tank investor Daymond John has apologized after he praised controversial religious leader Louis Farrakhan’s remarks at DMX's funeral on Sunday. After Farrakhan spoke via video at the private funeral service, stating that "the reason he [DMX] has affected the people in the hip-hop genre and human beings across the globe is because he was genuine," John took to Twitter to applaud the "powerful speech," adding that Farrakhan's "deep understanding of the Bible and respect for other people's religions was truly inspiring."
That comment immediately sparked backlash, with fellow social media users highlighting Farrakhan's many controversies, with one person tweeting, "Respect for other religions? He’s a vicious antisemite and seems proud of it." As the ADL's website notes, throughout his decades-long public life, Farrakhan has made numerous anti-Semitic remarks. He once attacked Jewish people as "satanic" and questioned the Holocaust. He has also attacked the LGBT community, with the ADL's website having archived his dozens of remarks attacking various groups.
As the backlash to his initial tweet continued, John eventually deleted it and issued an apology. In a Sunday evening note posted to his Twitter account, the FUBU founder said his "comments on Minister Farrakhan were only related to what I just witnessed tonight, unbeknownst to his prior stances." He said that "as someone who was fortunate enough to have a stepdad of the Jewish faith, I do not condone and never would condone any anti-Semitic, prejudice or any remarks of hatred." He went on to confirm that "the prior tweet will be removed to avoid further pain and confusion to anyone who has felt hurt in the past by any negative comments of his."
The Sunday ceremony, which followed a star-studded Saturday celebration of life, was attended by those closest to the rapper, including his 15 children. Page Six reports that DMX's 9-year-old daughter Aaliyah took a moment during the ceremony to remember her father, stating that "it makes me sad that my dad will never be able to sing 'Happy Birthday' ever to me again. I was excited to come to New York and spend a week with him and meet some of my brothers and sisters. But God had other plans." Aaliyah added, "I know my dad is in heaven. Even though he can't talk back, I know I can still talk to him. I think it's good that I get to call my dad a legend. Rest easy, dad."
DMX, legal name Earl Simmons, was rushed to a New York hospital on April 2 after suffering a heart attack at home. He remained on life support for a week before his family announced the tragic news on April 9 that he died, remembering him as "a warrior who fought till the very end." He was 50.