Steelers' Zach Banner Discusses DeSean Jackson, Anti-Semitism in Twitter Video

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 9, 2020

CARSON, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 13:  Offensive tackle Zach Banner #72 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on following a game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park on October 13, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)
Katharine Lotze/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Zach Banner addressed anti-Semitism and Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson in an emotional video he posted to Twitter on Wednesday.

While Banner mentioned Jackson, he stressed that the video was not about the wide receiver and instead an effort "to progress by educating ourselves."

Zach Banner @ZBNFL

This video is to transition from the incident, and move forward as a community. Not to harp on @DeSeanJackson10 mistake, but to progress by educating ourselves. We can’t move forward while allowing ourselves to leave another minority race in the dark. #Equality https://t.co/MnLnCCYzQL

"There's a common misbelief amongst Black and Brown people ... that Jewish people are just like any other white race," Banner said in the video. "You mix them up with the rest of the majority and you don't understand that they're a minority as well."

He said he learned as much when he went to USC and referenced the 2018 Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.

"We need to understand that Jewish people deal with the same amount of hate and similar hardships and hard times," Banner said. "... When we talk about Black Lives Matter and we talk about elevating ourselves, we can't do that while stepping on the back of other people."

Brooke Pryor of ESPN noted Jackson "posted the anti-Semitic messages on his Instagram, including one that he attributed to Adolf Hitler along with another that expressed admiration for Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan on Saturday and Monday" before apologizing Tuesday.

The Tree of Life Synagogue shooting came during Banner's first season with the Steelers. He entered the league as a fourth-round draft pick in 2017 and has played for the Cleveland Browns and Steelers.

Pryor pointed out the Steelers sold shirts designed by Pittsburgh graphic designer Tim Hindes following the shooting that transformed the team's logo with a Star of David and message saying "Stronger than Hate."

The proceeds from the shirts benefited the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh's Fund for Victims of Terror.