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Philadelphia Eagles penalize DeSean Jackson for anti-Semitic Instagram post

The 33-year-old wide receiver had shared a message that included a fake Adolf Hitler quote condemning Jewish people. Jackson apologized and said the message he was trying to convey was misunderstood.
Published Jul. 11, 2020|Updated Jul. 11, 2020

PHILADELPHIA — The Eagles have penalized receiver DeSean Jackson for “conduct detrimental to the team” in the wake of his inflammatory anti-Semitic Instagram post last weekend.

The announcement was made by the NFL team on Friday on social media. The punishment wasn’t disclosed, but league sources confirmed it was a fine. Contacted by the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Eagles declined comment.

In the post, Jackson praised Louis Farrakhan and shared a passage that included a fake Adolf Hitler quote. Jackson has faced harsh criticism from fans and the Jewish community at large since then. He apologized multiple times, said he promised to be better, and would educate himself, but maintained that the message he was trying to get across was misunderstood.

That hasn’t stopped the criticism toward the 33-year-old receiver and former Buc (2017-18).

This is the Eagles’ statement:

“This has been a difficult and emotional week for our community and organization.

“The Philadelphia Eagles do not tolerate hate towards any individual or group. We believe in respect and equality for all races, ethnicities, and faiths. We as an organization want to help be an instrument for positive change. This can only occur through strong, deliberate actions and a commitment to learn and grow.

“We have had a number of constructive conversations over the last few days, not only with DeSean Jackson, but also with many other players, members of the organization, and leaders in the community. That has led us to the point where we and he are ready to take the next steps.

“Today we have penalized DeSean for conduct detrimental to the team. He accepted these consequences and apologized. In our many conversations with him, it has also been made clear that this is only the beginning. We have discussed a concrete plan for how we and he can heal moving forward. He understands that in order to remain on the team, he must also commit to supporting his words with actions. We have been encouraged by his desire to educate himself, but we all understand that there is still a lot of work to be done. We will continue to assist DeSean in this process, and we also know that all of us in our organization need to listen and learn more about things that are unfamiliar or uncomfortable to us.

“We must continue to fight against any anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination, while not losing sight of the important battle against systematic racism.”

The Eagles, who have a Jewish general manager (Howie Roseman) and owner (Jeffrey Lurie), were quick to condemn Jackson’s actions when the post first came out but said they were still evaluating the situation to determine the best course of action.

What followed was a tumultuous week filled with speculation of whether Jackson could be or should be cut, and saw fans and players have to tackle the issue of anti-Semitism while the country is still heavily into the Black Lives Matter protests.

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One person who reached out to Jackson is New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman, who identifies as Jewish. On Friday, Edelman said he has spoken to Jackson after offering an invitation to learn from one another’s experiences, and ESPN reported that Jackson had also met with a group against anti-Semitism on Thursday and then a 94-year-old Holocaust survivor on Friday.

The Eagles faced a similar situation in 2013 with Riley Cooper after the former Clearwater Central Catholic and Florida Gators receiver was captured on video using a racial slur in a dispute with a security officer during a Kenny Chesney concert. Cooper, a fifth-round pick in 2010 by Philadelphia, was fined and sought counseling.

Inquirer staff writer Les Bowen contributed to the report.


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