Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson said he has no hatred toward the Jewish community and has issued an apology after posting on social media on Monday an anti-Semitic message that he attributed to Adolf Hitler as well as admiration for Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
The Eagles on Tuesday responded by calling Jackson’s posts “offensive, harmful, and absolutely appalling” and would take “appropriate action.” Team owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman are Jewish.
On his Instagram story feed, Jackson featured a quote that he attributed to Hitler that said white Jews “will blackmail America. [They] will extort America, their plan for world domination won’t work if the Negroes know who they were.”
He also shared two posts on Instagram — on Saturday and on Monday — expressing admiration for Farrakhan, whom the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center have identified as anti-Semitic. Those posts have since been deleted.
“We have spoken with DeSean Jackson about his social media posts,” the Eagles said in their statement. “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.”
Jackson on Tuesday posted an apology on Instagram saying he “really didn’t realize what this passage [attributed to Hitler] was saying” and that he was “sorry for any hurt I have caused.”
After initially receiving criticism on social media, Jackson, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, 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.” At the end, he added raised fist emojis in multiple skin tones.
The Anti-Defamation League of Philadelphia on Tuesday asked on social media for Jackson to “immediately apologize” and to learn more about Farrakhan’s “disturbing history of hate and antisemitism.”
“Deeply troubling to see @DeSeanJackson10 promoting the message of notorious antisemite and NOI leader Louis Farrakhan. We have reached out to the @Eagles about this and call on Jackson to immediately apologize,” ADL Philadelphia said on social media. “We urge Mr. Jackson to use his platform as a professional athlete to promote unity and positivity, rather than the divisive words of a bigot.”
The Eagles signed Jackson to a three-year deal in March 2019 for his second stint with the team.