DeSean Jackson apologises for 'absolutely appalling' anti-Semitic social media posts
Philadelphia Eagles and NFL both condemn wide receiver's posts
Last Updated: 08/07/20 7:24am
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has apologised after posting what his team described as "absolutely appalling" anti-Semitic messages on social media.
Jackson published a string of derogatory 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 Adolf Hitler.
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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."
Jackson also shared two posts with images and praise of Louis Farrakhan, the controversial religious figure and leader of the Nation of Islam, who once described Hitler as a great man.
The 33-year-old first apologised in a video on social media on Tuesday, before releasing a statement on the same platform in which he apologised again, including to Eagles team owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman, who are both Jewish.
Jackson wrote: "I want to apologize to the Jewish community, Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman, Doug Pederson [Eagles head coach], the Eagles organisation and our fans for the insensitive and ill-informed posts that I shared on my social media.
"My intention was to uplift, unite and encourage our culture with positivity and light. Unfortunately, that did not happen. I unintentionally hurt the Jewish community in the process and for that I am sorry!
"Now, more than ever, we must work together to end discrimination of all types and against all people and communities.
"This apology is more than just words - it is a promise to do better. I will fully educate myself and work with local and national organisations to be more informed and make a difference in our community. I will consider my words and actions moving forward. I will seek out voices from other communities and listen to their words, thoughts and beliefs.
"In a time of division, I am committed to doing my part in making this world a better place for our children."
Earlies on Tuesday, the Eagles released a statement saying they had spoken to Jackson about his posts, and expressed their anger and disappointment.
The franchise said: "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 organisation.
"We are disappointed and we reiterated to DeSean the importance of not only apologising, 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."
The NFL also released a statement, saying: "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."
Jackson has two years remaining on his contract with the Eagles. The 33-year-old has a $6.2m (£4.9m) base salary for this season and $8.2m (£6.5m) next season.