(Philadelphia, PA -- July 8, 2020 ) -- The StandWithUs Center for Combating Antisemitism (CCA) is appalled by an antisemitic Instagram post made by DeSean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles. Any statement that begins with an attribution to Adolf Hitler, and stems from noted antisemite Louis Farrakhan, is one that a professional athlete should know better than to publish for the world to see. While he has apologized, we hope DeSean will go further in educating his followers about antisemitism and why his posts were wrong. Further, we condemn former NBA star Stephen Jackson’s hurtful and erroneous claim that DeSean was “speaking the truth” and we are concerned that he has continued doubling down throughout this week. To be clear, sharing an antisemitic statement does not necessarily make someone an antisemite. Often, what is needed is simply accurate information and education. As public figures with large fan bases, DeSean and Stephen Jackson have a responsibility to right these wrongs by educating themselves and others about the dangers of antisemitism, including the harm in repeating age-old antisemitic slurs, such as Jackson’s statements about alleged Jewish control of banking institutions. Racism cannot be successfully fought with more racism. We hope they will acknowledge that spreading hateful ideas about Jews is no way to lift up their community or anyone else. We commend athletes and leaders in the world of sports who have made that acknowledgement and expressed their support for the Jewish community, including Zach Banner and Stephen A. Smith.
These are sincere messages that support the type of bridge-building that is needed right now, and we call on others in the sports world to follow their lead. Otherwise, there is a very real risk that millions of individuals who consumed DeSean Jackson's original screed might now believe in utter lies about the Jewish people that mirror the awful antisemitic blood libel. This could have dire consequences in the future. “The wholesale mainstreaming of antisemitism in this country must be rebuked and stymied in any and all communities where it is being fomented,” said CCA Director Carly Gammill. “We invite both DeSean Jackson and Stephen Jackson to review the CCA's educational materials (www.standuptohatred.com) on antisemitism. We would also welcome the opportunity to meet with them personally to offer our educational assistance, including education about the consensus International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism. It is our hope that both of these men will take the time to grow and to learn from their hurtful words.”
We welcome the people who have reached out to DeSean Jackson, including NFL receiver Julian Edelman, to respond to his words with offers of education.
StandWithUs (SWU) is an international, non-profit and non-partisan Israel education organization that works to inspire and educate people of all ages about Israel, as well as challenge misinformation and fight against antisemitism. Through university fellowships, high school internships, middle school curricula, conferences, materials, social media, educational films and missions to Israel, StandWithUs supports people around the world who want to educate their schools and communities about Israel. Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Los Angeles, the organization has chapters, programs and activities on 5 continents, including the U.S., Israel, UK, Canada, South Africa and Brazil. For the last 7 years, SWU has consistently received the highest possible ratings from Charity Navigator (4 stars) and Guidestar (Platinum). www.standwithus.com and www. facebook.com/standwithus and www.twitter.com/standwithus