DeSean William Jackson is an American football wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League. He played college football for the University of California, Berkeley, where he was recognized as a consensus All-American.
DeSean apologized Tuesday for his recent Instagram posts, in which he praised Louis Farrakhan and shared a text that included a fake Hitler quote.
Jackson’s attempt to apologize and explain included a statement and a video, in which he said he “didn’t intend any harm or hatred,” and specifically repudiated any approval of Hitler.
“I just want to first off extend an apology on behalf of me and what I stand for because … I never want to put any race down or any people down,” Jackson said in the accompanying video. “My post was definitely not intended for anybody of any race to feel any type of way, especially the Jewish community. What I posted, I definitely didn’t mean it to the extent that you guys took it, and I just wanted to let you guys know that I’m, you know, very apologetic, and I just want you guys to understand that it never was intended … to put any race down or any religion down.
“I really didn’t understand what this passage was saying,” Jackson wrote. “Hitler has caused terrible pain to Jewish people like the pain African-Americans have suffered. We should be together fighting anti-Semitism and racism.”
“… I just probably should have never posted anything that Hitler did, because Hitler was a bad person, and I know that. I was just trying to uplift African Americans and slavery and just enlighten my people. … I didn’t intend any harm or any hatred toward any people. … I’m for love and I extend it every day.”
Jackson and Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has spoken after Wentz reached out to try to understand where Jackson was coming from.
After initially receiving criticism on social media, Jackson on Monday said the posts were taken “the wrong way.”
“Anyone who feels I have hate towards the Jewish community took my post the wrong way,” he posted on his Instagram story, along with the highlighted passage that was attributed to Hitler. “I have no hatred in my heart toward no one!! Equality. Equality.”
Jackson’s apology came as the team released a statement that said the views Jackson endorsed on Instagram “have no place in our society and are not condoned or supported in any way by the organization.”
The statement indicated the team will take further action, and outlined what the team feels Jackson needs to do to atone — “… not only apologizing but using his platform to take action to promote unity, equality, and respect.”
The statement did not mention the possibility of releasing Jackson, but it might be inferred that the team needs to be satisfied with Jackson’s response. ESPN reported that Jackson, 33, met with general manager Howie Roseman Tuesday and had a meeting set with team owner Jeffrey Lurie.
The NFL indicated it would leave the matter in the team’s hands.
“DeSean’s comments were highly inappropriate, offensive and divisive and stand in stark contrast to the NFL’s values of respect, equality, and inclusion,” the league said in a statement released by a spokesman. “We have been in contact with the team, which is addressing the matter with DeSean.”
On Sunday, Jackson highlighted several paragraphs from a text purporting to quote Hitler saying that Black people were the “real Children of Israel” and falsely claiming that white Jewish people were secretly behind horrendous acts of violence against people of color, including lynching.
After receiving harsh criticism for sharing the passage — which has long been debunked as an internet meme attempting to claim Hitler was not a racist — Jackson posted a new message claiming that his post was misunderstood and that he has “no hatred” in his heart toward anyone, including the Jewish community.
The Anti-Defamation League of Philadelphia used social media to call for an apology. ADL Philadelphia later tweeted that it appreciated Jackon’s expression of remorse and the Eagles’ condemnation of his statements. “It’s our hope he uses this moment as a chance to work with the Jewish community and educate himself further on how dangerous and hurtful antisemitism is,” the organization said.
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