Hours after posting an apparent Adolf Hitler quote on his Instagram, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has suggested the message he shared was taken “the wrong way,” saying he has “no hatred in my heard toward (anyone).”
As ESPN reported, Jackson posted two different pictures — one on Saturday, and another on Monday — with positive remarks about Louis Farrakhan, the current Nation of Islam leader, as well as pictures on his story feed of a quote he attributed to Hitler, in which “white Jews” are accused of trying to “blackmail America.”
“(They) will extort America,” the quote read, “(and) their plan for world domination won’t work if the Negroes know who they were.”
Farrakhan has been identified as anti-Semitic by the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center, with the latter noting that Farrakhan served as the top minister for the Nation of Islam, a “deeply racist” system “consistently rejected by mainstream Muslims.”
Jackson re-posted the apparent Hitler quote after initial backlash, with Hitler’s name and other parts of the excerpt blacked out. Since then, he’s explained in an additional post on his story feed that he did not intend to disparage the Jewish community by sharing the quote.
“Anyone who feels I have hate towards the Jewish community took my post the wrong way,” he posted. “I have no hatred in my heart toward no one! Equality. Equality.”
The Eagles, who originally drafted Jackson in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft and brought the receiver back for a second stint with the franchise last season, have since released a statement saying in part that Jackson’s posts “have no place in our society.”
“We have spoken with DeSean Jackson about his social media posts,” the Eagles’ statement reads. “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 further apologized for his posts on his Instagram account by releasing a statement along with a video message to his followers.
“I post a lot of things that are sent to me,” he wrote in the statement. “I do not have hatred towards anyone. I really didn’t realize what this passage was saying. Hitler has caused terrible pain to Jewish people like the pain African-Americans have suffered. We should be together fighting anti-Semitism and racism. This was a mistake to post this and I truly apologize for posting it and sorry for any hurt I have caused.”
The NFL has also released a statement regarding Jackson’s posts, saying they were “highly inappropriate, offensive and divisive and stand in stark contrast to the NFL’s values of respect, equality and inclusion.” The league says it has also been in contact with the Eagles in response to the situation.