Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson issued an apology after posting an anti-Semitic message that he attributed to Adolf Hitler and admiration for Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan on social media.
The Eagles on Tuesday responded by calling Jackson’s posts “offensive, harmful and absolutely appalling” and said the team would take “appropriate action.” Team owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman are Jewish.
The NFL released a statement Tuesday calling Jackson’s comments “highly inappropriate, offensive and divisive and stand in stark contrast to the NFL’s values of respect, equality and inclusion.” The league said it has been in contact with the Eagles on the matter.
Jackson posted an apology Tuesday on Instagram.
“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 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 published a string of derogatory social media posts over the Fourth of July weekend, one of which had an image of a page out of a book that included anti-Semitic quotes that were falsely attributed to Hitler. Jackson followed up with another post, saying “Anyone who feels I have hate towards the Jewish community took my post the wrong way I have no hatred in my heart towards no-one!! Equality Equality.”
He then shared the same page with part of the excerpt scribbled out and this passage highlighted: “(They) will extort America, their plan for world domination won’t work if the Negroes know who they were.”
Jackson also shared two posts with images and praise of Farrakhan, the controversial religious figure who once described Hitler as a great man.
Jackson has two years remaining on his contract with the Eagles. The 33-year-old has a $6.2 million base salary for this season and $8.2 million next season.
“We have spoken to DeSean Jackson about his social media posts. Regardless of his intentions, the messages he shared were offensive, harmful, and absolutely appalling,” the Eagles said in a statement. “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 and 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.”
(Field Level Media)