Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson posted a story to his Instagram account featuring an anti-Semitic quote falsely attributed to Adolf Hitler over the weekend, leading to a backlash both on social media and by his own team. Jackson later apologized for his comments, claiming that he “didn’t really realize what this passage was saying.”
On Thursday, New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, who himself is Jewish, took to social media himself to share a response video to Jackson’s remarks:
Compassion, empathy and love.— Julian Edelman (@Edelman11) July 9, 2020
✊ ✊ ✊ ✊ ✊
Link to full video: https://t.co/pNkLg9s44V pic.twitter.com/LspyPKzCC3
“I know he said some ugly things, but I do see an opportunity to have a conversation,” Edelman said in the clip. “I am proud of my Jewish heritage, and for me, it’s not just about religion, it’s about community and culture as well. I am unusual because I didn’t identify as Jewish until later in my life. Whenever I encountered hatred, it never really felt like it was aimed at me. It was only after I was part of this community that I learned how destructive hate is.
Edelman spoke about his own personal experiences — being called an anti-Jewish slur on the field back in 2011 — and also about similarities between anti-Semitism and the experiences of the Black community.
“Anti-Semitism is one of the oldest forms of hatred. It’s rooted in ignorance and fear. There’s no room for anti-Semitism in this world,” Edelman said before directly addressing Jackson. “DeSean, let’s do a deal. How about we go to D.C. and I take you to the Holocaust Museum and then you take me to the museum of African American History and Culture. Afterwards, we’ll grab some burgers and we have those uncomfortable conversations. This world needs a little more love, compassion and empathy.”