DeSean Jackson Says He's Educating Himself, Learning from Anti-Semitic Posts

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 10, 2020

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson in action during an NFL football practice, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola, Pool)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson spoke to reporters Wednesday regarding his offensive social media posts from July, when he posted an anti-Semitic quote falsely attributed to Adolf Hitler and shared anti-Semitic quotes from Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Jackson told reporters he was trying to better educate himself and hold himself accountable after those posts:

"I've been just using the time to educate myself and really just man up to the actions I took and just educate and learn from it. Over the past few months I kind of had to reflect on just life. ... You know, people make mistakes in life and it was a mistake I made and I had to own up to it as a man, which I did, but I think I'm taking the proper steps to educate and learn from something I didn't really know very much about."

In an effort to atone, Jackson—who also apologized on multiple occasions—has agreed to visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., with New England Patriots wideout Julian Edelman, who in turn will go with Jackson to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

And he is planning to visit a concentration camp in Poland at the invitation of a Holocaust survivor.

Jackson said one of the lessons he learned from the situation was to use social media more responsibly:

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"Honestly, just knowing what it is that you're putting out there in the world. Social media could be used ... for a number of things and what I chose to use it for on that day obviously brought some bad light to myself, so just really knowing the ins and outs of kind of what to post, what not to post, just how to be careful about what you post, that's the No. 1 thing that I've learned from it."

Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, who is Jewish, addressed Jackson's posts in late August during a press conference:

"I thought the social media posts were disgusting and appalling. I don't think anybody can take it any other way. You're talking about a leader of a genocide, and it doesn't matter what it was a genocide of. Any leader of a genocide is one of the worst individuals and a member of a group of individuals that we've seen both in our lifetime and in history.

"I've known DeSean for a long time. Obviously, we all have. He has, I think, really understood the ramifications of that appalling post. So far, everything that we've asked him to do to both educate himself and to learn and take action, he's done completely. So, I would hope that would continue.

"I also think that in life, you have to understand fully where a person is coming from. I listened. I listened. It doesn't take away the hurt. It doesn't take away the words. But I think that with DeSean, he's doing the right things, and that has to continue. That's a daily event, and that's where that's at."

Jackson and Lurie have a relationship that dates back more than a decade, as the Eagles drafted the receiver in 2008. Jackson is entering his eighth season with the club, spanning two stints.