On Tuesday of this week, DeSean Jackson made a surprising post, to say the least. He shared an image on Instagram that was blatantly anti-Semitic. The quote it depicted, falsely attributed to Hitler, explained that white Jews have a plot to extort America and that they plan for world domination.
This post has obviously been seen as offensive by many people. At the forefront of the commotion, is the Jewish community demanding Jackson be reprimanded for his actions. However, in stark contrast to the Drew Brees incident, players in the NFL have largely been silent.
The reaction to this incident sheds light on a prominent problem surrounding Jewish athletes of any sports and the Jewish community in general: ignorance.
The ignorance may be willful, but it is mostly due to the general oblivion as to what Judaism is. Many players have not met many Jewish people themselves. Former Giants lineman, Geoff Schwartz, addresses this problem.
“A lot of players in the locker rooms don’t know anything about Judaism,” He said in a New York Post article. “They don’t understand what anti-semitism…could be.”
This is the biggest problem.
With both the Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and GM Howie Roseman being Jewish, how will the franchise and the league move forward?
Despite Jackson’s rather quick apology, the NFL undoubtedly should take action of some kind. A suspension or fine should be imminent for Jackson to set a much-needed precedent on discrimination in the league. No matter who is the perpetrator and who is the target, hatred of any kind should be cracked down on regardless of unawareness.
In light of this, so-called cancel culture should not be initiated. DeSean should not be exiled off the face of the Earth for his actions, but he should become a pioneer for advocacy against discrimination. Players are all gifted with massive followings and all have the platforms to make a change.
In sports especially there is no room for hate anywhere.
Players must learn to appreciate differences for what they are. With this incident, it is imperative that the NFL take action to be at the forefront of the movement against hatred and use their following to condemn discrimination in all cases.
Photo: Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports