Professional football player DeSean Jackson apologized after promoting messages against Jews on social media, including a page from a book that quotes Hitler.
Jackson, who plays for the Philadelphia Eagles, also posted praise for Louis Farrakhan, the leader of Nation of Islam. Farrakhan regularly disparages Jews, at one time comparing them to cockroaches.
Jackson, 33, took to Instagram to issue a statement saying he publishes a lot of things that he receives from others.
“I do not have hatred towards anyone,” Jackson said on Tuesday. “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.”
Jackson had shared a page from a book called: “The Hidden Treasure That Lies in Plain Sight 4: The Day of the Lord and the End of America.”
In a portion of the page, the author writes, “Hitler said, ‘because the white Jews knows [sic] that the Negroes are the real Children of Israel and to keep Americas secret the Jews will blackmail America.”
In another paragraph, the author writes that Jews will extort America as part of an alleged plan for world domination.
In another post after deleting the original one, Jackson posted in all caps: “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.”
The Anti-Defamation League of Philadelphia was among those who had called on Jackson to apologize.
In a statement Tuesday, the group said it appreciates the apology.
“It’s our hope he uses this moment as a chance to work with the Jewish community and educate himself further on how dangerous and hurtful antisemitism is,” it said.
The Eagles said in a statement that team officials spoke with Jackson about his social media posts.
“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,” the team said.
Officials “reiterated to DeSean the importance of not only apologizing, but also using his platform to take action to promote unity, equality, and respect” and “are continuing to evaluate the circumstances and will take appropriate action.”
The National Football League (NFL) called Jackson’s comments “highly inappropriate, offensive and divisive,” adding they “stand in stark contrast to the NFL’s values of respect, equality and inclusion.”