Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Desean Jackson sparks backlash with anti-Semitic comments

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson ignited controversy by sharing anti-Semitic comments on social media this week.

Jackson posted a quote on his Instagram Story on Monday which was attributed to Adolf Hitler, stating in part “the Jews will blackmail America, they will extort America, their plan for World Domination won’t work if the Negroes know who they were.”

Jackson then issued a written apology Tuesday evening, and the Chair of the Philadelphia Holocaust Memorial tweeted he had reached out to the Eagles receiver to host him for an educational tour, which Jackson accepted.

Jackson also shared a video apologizing for his comments.

Despite the apology, many strongly criticized Jackson for his anti-Semitic post.

ESPN’s Elle Duncan, who previously gained national attention for her incredible “Girl Dad” story in the wake of Kobe Bryant’s tragic death, gave a powerful monologue stating that hate in any form simply cannot be tolerated.

Emmanuel Acho, a teammate of Jackson’s on the 2013 Eagles, tweeted there is no excuse for Jackson’s comments.

On Wednesday’s Speak For Yourself, Acho expanded on his thoughts.

“This is a topic, Marcellus, that we had to address. We would both be remiss if we were to have our own platforms where we talk about racial reconciliation, but then, when it comes time to talking about prejudice that may not directly affect us, we sweep it under the rug.

“So let’s just take it head on: Ignorance is no longer acceptable. Ignorance is no longer an excuse.”

Steelers offensive tackle Zach Banner, who was among the first NFL players to react to Jackson’s comments, spoke of hurtful preconceived notions he was exposed to in his own upbringing and the need for education, love, and support, while also reflecting on the tragic shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018.

FOX Sports’ Charlotte Wilder explained the importance of Banner’s comments:

“I loved what Zach Banner said in response to Jackson’s comments. As a Jewish person, it was heartening to see a player with a platform and influence speak out against anti-Semitism.

“But I was disappointed that more athletes didn’t follow his lead, because hate — even when it doesn’t directly affect you — is insidious. The more people speak out, the more comfortable others feel joining in. And the more people join in, the less acceptable hate becomes.

“Being vocal and supportive goes a long way toward making change.”

Late Wednesday night, the Twitter account for the Auschwitz Museum tweeted at Jackson, asking him to consider visiting the site of some of history’s most heinous crimes to educate himself.

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, who is Jewish, responded to Jackson’s comments in an Instagram video Thursday morning.

Edelman explained that “anti-Semitism is one of the oldest forms of hatred” and offered to meet Jackson at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, both in Washington, D.C. (WARNING: The video contains a Jewish slur Edelman says he has been called before.)

Unfortunately, not everyone corrected Jackson for his offensive comments.

Former NBA player Stephen Jackson originally defended the Eagles wide receiver on Tuesday, then did so again during an Instagram Live on Wednesday.

That defense prompted Stephen A. Smith to passionately speak out against the anti-Semitism and Stephen Jackson’s comments, saying they take away from the important work around racial inequality.

Wednesday evening, Jackson appeared on CNN to attempt to clarify his statements, stating he “used the wrong words”:

“I could’ve switched up, but that’s the end of it. I know I love everybody, and that’s how I always stand and I’m not going to let anybody demean my character.”

On Thursday’s Undisputed, Shannon Sharpe detailed a conversation he had with Stephen Jackson, one day after also speaking to DeSean Jackson.

The Eagles, meanwhile, issued a statement on Tuesday calling DeSean Jackson’s comments “offensive, harmful, and absolutely appalling.” The team said it would take appropriate action.

Team owner Jeffrey Lurie and GM Howie Roseman, who are both Jewish, reportedly spoke to Jackson on Tuesday, according to ESPN, with Lurie expressing his “deep disappointment.”

The Eagles have not announced any discipline for Jackson, and according to multiple reports, the team has not discussed a suspension or termination.

This is a developing story.

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