Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson sparked criticism on Tuesday after posting an anti-Semitic message that he attributed to Adolf Hitler. He also expressed admiration for the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, whom the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center have identified as anti-Semitic. Jackson posted an apology video on his Instagram and said that he "has no hatred" for the Jewish community.
Jackson posted a highlighted quote on his Instagram Stories with the quote that he attributed to Hitler — although former dictator was not responsible for the specific message. It said in part that white Jews "know that the Negroes are the real Children of Israel and to keep Americas secret, the Jews will blackmail America." Following considerable criticism, Jackson posted an updated photo in which he crossed out specific lines of text. He later deleted both of the posts expressing admiration for Farrakhan.
DeSean Jackson, posts a quote from Hitler, says he’s not anti-Semitic and then highlights the particularly anti-Semitic part.
As an Eagles fan, this is disgusting. Where is the response from the team and the NFL? pic.twitter.com/MFPmz0PyOY— Greg Price (@greg_price11) July 7, 2020
"I post a lot of things that are sent to me," Jackson said in an apology post on Instagram. "I do not have hatred towards anyone. I really didn't realize what this passage was saying. Hitler has caused terrible pain to Jewish people like the pain African-Americans have suffered. We should be together fighting anti-Semitism and racism. This was a mistake to post this and I truly apologize for posting it and sorry for any hurt I have caused."
The NFL and the team both released statements on Tuesday condemning the posts. Jeffery Lurie, the owner of the Eagles, and general manager Howie Roseman are both Jewish. The team promised to continue evaluating the circumstances while reiterating that Jackson needs to apologize. The league, on the other hand, said that it had been in contact with the Eagles about the posts.
"We have spoken with DeSean Jackson about his social media posts," the Eagles said in a statement Tuesday. "Regardless of his intentions, the messages he shared were offensive, harmful, and absolutely appalling. They have no place in our society, and are not condoned or supported in any way by the organization.
"We are disappointed and we reiterated to DeSean the importance of not only apologizing, but also using his platform to take action to promote unity, equality, and respect. We are continuing to evaluate the circumstances and will take appropriate action. We take these matters very seriously and are committed to continuing to have productive and meaningful conversations with DeSean, as well as all of our players and staff, in order to educate, learn, and grow."