Wow, this story blew up overnight.
We wrote about DeSean Jackson’s highly questionable Instagram posts Monday morning, then radio silence for 7-8 hours before it exploded around 11 p.m.
The gist of the story is that Jackson shared some praise for Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who delivered a lengthy speech on Saturday afternoon, talking about racism, police brutality, and COVID-19. Problem is that Farrakhan is a noted anti-semite and the NOI is labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In another Instagram post, he shared a fake quote attributed to Adolf Hitler, whose genocidal actions were responsible for the deaths of millions.
DeSean clarified his post later on Monday, sharing these pictures on Insta:
“Anyone who feels I have hate towards the Jewish community took my post the wrong way, I have no hatred in my heart towards no one!! Equality equality,” writes Jackson. In the second picture, he scrubs out other portions of the fake Hitler quote to focus on what he believes to be a message black men and women should pay attention to.
One of the prominent voices speaking up last night was former Eagles President Joe Banner, who wrote this, among other things:
If a white player said anything about AA’s as outrageous as what Desean Jackson said about Jews tonight there would at least be a serious conversation about cutting him and a need for a team meeting to discuss. Which would be totally appropriate. Absolutely indefensible.
— Joe Banner (@JoeBanner13) July 7, 2020
Help me understand why media members speaking out against hate and fighting for social justice aren’t absolutely outraged by Desean Jackson’s comments. If you really care about stopping hate you should be outraged. Speak up!!!!!
— Joe Banner (@JoeBanner13) July 7, 2020
It was intriguing to watch this unfold. Our story went up at 11:09 a.m. yesterday, and I thought for sure other local outlets would roll with it as well, but they didn’t. As far as I can tell, the story just sat there for hours until a couple of national sites started picking it up, and then Philly Voice and other local jawns began publishing their stories. A significant portion of rather large Eagles media corps is just getting around to it this morning.
But Banner makes a good point, that there’s a double standard at play here. If Lane Johnson came out and said “David Duke really nailed that speech, I think he had some interesting things to say” Twitter would have had a total meltdown, and Eagles fans would be calling for him to be released immediately. In this day and age of heightened racial and social awareness, transgressions of any sort are typically rebuked with significant punishment.
This one was not, initially, and it’s probably safe to say that most people aren’t too familiar with Farrakhan’s life and work. He’s 87 years old, a whack job who does not frequently appear in the mainstream media cycle and who represents a fringe group that many people do not recognize as legitimate. As an example, back in 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama distanced himself from Farrakhan and turned down the minister’s support during his presidential run. He was banned from Facebook and has previously referred to Judaism as a “dirty religion” and said all sorts of nasty racist and anti-semitic stuff over the course of something like 50 years. The quirk is that he also shares many pro-black thoughts, which are legitimate messages of empowerment that ultimately become rendered null and void because of the aforementioned unacceptable comments.
Question now is what happens to DeSean Jackson. Does he get cancelled? Suspended ala Riley Cooper? Maybe he just heard the pro-black message that Farrakhan was sharing on Saturday and decided to post about it on Twitter. Perhaps he wasn’t familiar with Farrakhan’s history of saying crazy shit, which would be understandable.
But then what about the fake Hitler quote? That seems like a separate issue entirely, one that the Eagles are going to have to address sooner rather than later.