First of all, I would like to say that this article’s opinions are strictly my own and that I do not speak for anyone else at Overtime Heroics. Longtime Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson is currently under a ton of scrutiny after referencing the Jewish community’s plan to “extort America and achieve world domination.”
Background on Myself:
Here’s some background on myself. As a Jewish person, I would not consider myself to be extremely religious. I celebrate the important Jewish holidays. However, being Jewish is never one of the first things I think about when I wake up in the morning. When I first saw his post, more than being offended, I was disappointed. D-Jax had always been one of my favorite Eagles, going back to the Andy Reid era. To see him do something so ignorant was disheartening.
Addressing Desean Jackson
I also do not believe that DeSean Jackson has a genuine hatred for Jewish people or the Jewish community. In fact, I supect that if someone, especially a celebrity/athlete, genuinely hates another group of people, they will be unlikely to publicly express their hatred through social media.
I bring this back to former 76ers guard, JJ Redick. In February of 2018, Redick was accused of using an anti-Chinese racial slur during an NBA-promoted video celebrating the Chinese New Year. Does JJ Redick have hatred toward the Chinese community? Like everyone else, I would love to believe he doesn’t, and it seems highly unlikely he would intentionally use such a slur in a public video.
So while I don’t believe D-Jax hates the Jewish community, his actions are unacceptable. It’s at best ignorant to post quotes attributed to Adolf HItler on an Instagram account.
The other part of this issue that upset me was Jackson’s apology. The part that ticked me off was when Jackson claimed: “he didn’t mean it to the extent that you guys took it.” Hmm. So I’m clear, DeSean, you did mean what you said, but didn’t want the Jewish community to be offended, even though you literally just quoted Adolf Hitler?
Jackson has often spoken out about Black Lives Matter and racial justice, issues that are enormously important in our country. However, the best way to express that today is not by putting another group down. As a white person, I understand it’s generally not my place to tell a member of the Black community whom one should cite. However, I would argue that putting the Jewish community down so the Black community can rise only adds to the problem.
Cutting Desean Jackson Won’t Fix This Issue:
Although I’m distraught at DeSean Jackson, I don’t believe that the Eagles cutting him will solve this issue. Let’s think about what happens in that scenario. Jackson gets cut by Philly and becomes a free agent. Then, other teams consider signing him. The conversation changes from “DeSean Jackson did something horrible” to “Wow, this team is giving him a second chance.” This completely takes the light off of the real issue, which is Jackson’s anti-Semitic Instagram post.
Instead, and in my opinion, the only correct way to handle this is to help Jackson to educate himself. Football is football, but Jackson’s becoming more educated on his mistake – as all of us are attempting to become educated about the history of racial injustice in our country — is more important. Help him to learn and understand the history of the oppression Jewish people have faced.
Many people have criticized the Eagles for not suspending/fining Jackson to this point. What will taking his money really do? The Eagles should have Jackson educate himself. I don’t know if he can simply come back from this mistake, but as someone who has been a massive fan of his, while I have lost respect for DeSean Jackson at this moment, I hope that he can become better-educated in this respect.
Follow me on Twitter @PodolskyDanny
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