(JTA) — A coalition of Jewish groups say NFL star DeSean Jackson needs an education about “how dangerous and pernicious antisemitism and all forms of hate are” — and the groups say they are willing to teach him.
Jackson in recent days posted quotes on social media attributed to Adolf Hitler and Louis Farrakhan. The Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver removed them a day later and posted an apology following pushback.
The Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey, the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation and the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition in a joint statement condemned Jackson for the Instagram posts.
“Although Mr. Jackson later posted that he ‘has no hate in his heart,’ his amplification of hate-filled messages sent a very different message,” they wrote.
“All of the undersigned organizations work in coalitions in our community, foster interfaith and Black-Jewish dialogues, and support all efforts to ensure Philadelphia is safe and welcoming for all. We are willing to work with the Eagles and Mr. Jackson on education and outreach.”
ESPN reported later on Tuesday that Jackson in a meeting with Jeffrey Lurie, the Jewish owner of the Eagles, and Howie Roseman, the team’s Jewish general manager, said he would like to educate himself, and later reached out to the Chabad Young Philly, which works with young professionals and graduate students, to discuss how Jackson can donate to and work with Chabad.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Philadelphia Holocaust Memorial, David Adelman, said in a tweet that in a FaceTime call with Jackson, the athlete again apologized and accepted Adelman’s offer to host him for an educational session and tour of the memorial. “Confident we can turn this into a positive together,” the tweet said.
One of the two alleged Hitler quotes posted Monday accuses “white Jews” of having a “plan for world domination.” The Snopes website reports that the quote is not attributable to Hitler and appears to have been first published on a “clickbait web site” called FMLGoneViral.com in 2015.
On Saturday, Jackson posted a photo of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan delivering his three-hour Fourth of July address in which Farrakhan, who has called Jews “termites” and denounced the “Synagogue of Satan,” repeated canards about Jews.
Jackson wrote: “This man powerful I hope everyone got a chance to watch this!! Don’t be blinded. Know what’s going on!!”
The Eagles released a statement on Tuesday morning addressing the Instagram posts, saying the team had “spoken with” Jackson about his social media posts, which they called “offensive, harmful, and absolutely appalling.”
“They have no place in our society, and are not condoned or supported in any way by the organization,” the team said.