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What I Learned – Stephen Jackson defends DeSean Jackson’s anti-Semitic posts

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Former NBA player Stephen Jackson defended a series of anti-Semitic posts from NFL receiver DeSean Jackson earlier this week, saying the Eagles wideout was “speaking the truth.” On Monday, DeSean Jackson shared an anti-Semitic quote on social media that he falsely attributed to Adolf Hitler, according to the fact-checking website Snopes. [White Jews] will blackmail America,” the quote read. “[They] will extort America, their plan for world domination won’t work if the Negroes know who they were.”In a since-deleted video, Stephen Jackson called the receiver’s anti-Semitic posts “the truth.””So I just read a statement that the Philadelphia Eagles posted regarding DeSean Jackson’s comments,” Stephen Jackson said in a video posted on Instagram that is since deleted. “He was trying to educate himself, educate people, and he’s speaking the truth. Right? He’s speaking the truth. You know he don’t hate nobody, but he’s speaking the truth of the facts that he knows and trying to educate others. But y’all don’t want us to educate ourselves. If it’s talking about the Black race, y’all ain’t saying nothing about it. “They killing us, police killing us and treating us like s—, racism at an all-time high, but ain’t none of you NFL owners spoke up on that, ain’t none of you teams spoke up on that.”DeSean Jackson also shared two Instagram posts that praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified the Nation of Islam as anti-Semitic, while the Anti-Defamation League says Farrakhan has “embarked on a wide-ranging campaign specifically targeting the Jewish community.”On Wednesday, Stephen Jackson weighed in on the topic on Instagram Live, saying “F— Hitler” multiple times and at one point saying, “in other words, you’re upset with me because I didn’t say what you wanted me to say,” according to The Athletic’s Fred Katz.DeSean Jackson’s comments sparked intense backlash, including pushback from former Eagles president Joe Banner, who suggested on Twitter that the team should consider cutting him.The Eagles said in a team statement that “Regardless of [Jackson’s] 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.” In a statement, the NFL said DeSean Jackson’s remarks “were highly inappropriate, offensive and divisive and stand in stark contrast to the NFL’s values of respect, equality and inclusion.”The three-time Pro Bowl receiver later apologized twice for his initial comments, saying he “really didn’t realize what this passage was saying” and that he was “sorry for any hurt I have caused.”On Tuesday evening, DeSean Jackson issued a written apology on social media, saying his “intention was to uplift, unite and encourage our culture with positive and light. Unfortunately that did not happen. … This apology is more than just words—it is a promise to do better.”Stephen Jackson has emerged as prominent voice for social change since the death of his friend George Floyd, who was killed on Memorial Day after being violently apprehended by a now former Minneapolis police officer. He has not played in the NBA since the 2013–14 season. 

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