Cal Football: Eagles Make Initial Response to DeSean Jackson's Anti-Semitic Posts
The Philadelphia Eagles gave their first official response Tuesday to anti-Semitic comments attributed to Adolf Hitler that wide receiver DeSean Jackson posted on his Instagram page, calling his messages “offensive, harmful and absolutely appalling.”
“They have no place in our society, and are not condoned or supported in any way by this organization,” the statement said.
The Eagles said it’s Jackson’s responsibility to not only apologize but also use his platform “to promote unity, equality and respect.” The Eagles’ statement also suggested the matter is not fully resolved.
“We are continuing to evaluate the circumstances and will take appropriate action.”
The NFL also provided a statement in response to Jackson:s comments:
“DeSean’s comments were highly inappropriate, offensive and divisive and stand in stark contrast to the NFL’s values of respect, equality and inclusion. We have been in contact with the team which is addressing the matter with DeSean.”
ESPN's Adam Schefter said on Twitter that the Eagles decision on whether to release Jackson could come down to a contract issue:
Jackson posted his own video statement on Instagram on Tuesday, saying he was "very apologetic" and that he did not intend harm to anyone.
"I never want to put any race down or any people down," he said. He added that he "probably should not have posted anything . . . Hitler was a bad person, I know that."
But the 33-year-old former Cal star provided no clear explanation for why he posted the quotes in the first place beyond the suggestion that "I just wanted to enlighten my people."
Here is a YouTube video of Jackson's Instagram apology and explanation:
EagleMaven, the Sports Illustrated site devoted to the coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles, wonders whether the apology will be enough.
ESPN reported that Jackson has spoken with general manager Howie Roseman and is slated to talk with owner Jeffrey Lurie later Tuesday. A source told ESPN's Tim McManus no discussion of a suspension or termination has been raised with Jackson to this point.
The quotes he posted over the 4th of July weekend that he attributed to Hitler, said, in part, white Jews "will blackmail America. (They) will extort America, their plan for world domination won't work if the Negroes know who they were.”
Jackson also praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has been labeled by both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League as anti-Semitic.
The Anti-Defamation League of Philadelphia, according to ESPN, posted on social media, asking Jackson to “immediately apologize."
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. 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 ADL issued another statement on Twitter following Jackson's video apology:
The quotes attributed to Hitler reportedly are fake, and first appeared in a book written in 1980, according to the Philly Voice. But Jackson apparently didn’t know that when he posted them. Here is the first of Jackson’s weekend posts:
Jackson’s posts included an attempted explanation or apology for his earlier messages, saying, in part, “Anyone who feels I have hate towards the Jewish community took my post the wrong way.”
Not everyone accepted Jackson’s feeble mea culpa.
Cal graduate Michael Silver, a long-time respected NFL writer and analyst for NFL Network, was among those critical of Jackson’s posts.
“The NFL should suspend DeSean Jackson. Bigotry is unacceptable,” Silver wrote on Twitter.
ESPN national NFL writer Kevin Seifert tweeted, “At the very least, he is ignorant of what it means to be anti-Semitic.”
Oregon graduate Geoff Schwartz, a former eight-year NFL offensive lineman who is Jewish, also weighed in on Jackson’s remarks.
Corey Seidman, who identifies himself as a Phillies analyst and producer from NBCSPhilly, suggested Jackson was speaking from a position of ignorance.
Stay tuned. There almost certainly will be more fallout to come, as Jake Curtis suggests in this video:
Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo
Click the "follow" button in the top right corner to join the conversation on Cal Sports Report on SI. Access and comment on featured stories and start your own conversations and post external links on our community page.