The anti-Semitic comments DeSean Jackson expressed on his Instagram were insulting and absolutely indefensible. Our local Jewish community was deeply hurt and offended by his comments. In the last few days, DeSean, a star player for our NFL team, Philadelphia Eagles, has apologized and expressed his desire to work with our Jewish community to better educate himself about the Jewish Holocaust. This is truly a teachable moment which can have great impact, as what comes after an apology needs to become a meaningful part of positive change,” replied the Jewish Federation of Great Philadelphia in a statement.
All public figures who utilize their influence on social media, regardless of intent, to perpetuate language which reinforces these myths and stereotypes must learn how to communicate better on these issues. At a time when hate crimes against Jews are again on the rise, along with a national reckoning on racism, we believe it is vitally important to build bridges between the black and Jewish communities, and unite in our shared goals to end systemic oppression and realize equality for all.
DeSean’s actions must speak louder than his words. When he returns to Philadelphia, we will honor his request to connect with us, so that he can start a dialogue with the Holocaust survivors in our community and enable all of us to come together in a shared effort to learn from each other and move forward.