What Did DeSean Jackson Say? NFL Star Posted Fake Hitler Quote on Instagram

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has found himself in hot water this week after sharing anti-Semitic quotes on social media over the weekend.

In an Instagram story he shared over the weekend, the 33-year-old posted a quote attributed to Adolf Hitler which states the white Jews "will blackmail America. [They] will extort America, their plan for world domination won't work if the Negroes know who they were."

The quote is often used to support the theory that Hitler planned to launch a world war after his death to prevent black people in America to be oppressed by the Jews. It also perpetuates a common far-right and anti-Semitic trope that Jewish people secretly control the world, through financial and political clout.

It is also used to suggest Hitler was not motivated by racist ideology and that he believed the "negroes are the real children of Israel" and the "real hebrews," which were "stolen by America in a direct challenge to God".

However, it appears the words shared by Jackson were falsely attributed to the Nazi leader.

According to fact-checking website Snopes.com, the quote first reached online notoriety five years ago on a website called FMLGoneViral.com, which did not credit the original source directly and claimed it was a conversation between Hitler and an unnamed Nazi soldier.

Commenters on the post, however, suggested the quote appeared in Robert Edwin Herstein's The Nazis World War II.

Snopes, however, found no trace of the quote in Herstein's book, neither in the hard copy, nor on a digital version available on Google Books.

To compound the issue, on Saturday and Monday in separate social media posts which have since been deleted, Jackson spoke of his admiration for Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Southern Poverty Law Center have identified Farrakhan as anti-Semitic.

Jackson then re-posted a picture of the quote attributed to Hitler with his own caption, in which he explained his original post was not intended as anti-Semitic.

"Anyone who feels I have hate towards the Jewish community took my post the wrong way," the Eagles wideout wrote. "I have no hatred in my heart towards no one!! Equality equality."

The 33-year-old was widely criticized for his posts and was publicly reprimanded by the Eagles, whose owner, Jeffrey Lurie, and general manager, Howie Roseman, are Jewish

"We have spoken with DeSean Jackson about his social media posts," the Eagles said in their statement on Tuesday.

"Regardless of his intentions, the messages he shared were offensive, harmful, and absolutely appalling. They have no place in our society, and are not condoned or supported in any way by the organization.

"We are disappointed and we reiterated to DeSean the importance of not only apologizing, but also using his platform to take action to promote unity, equality, and respect.

"We are continuing to evaluate the circumstances and will take appropriate action. We take these matters very seriously and are committed to continuing to have productive and meaningful conversations with DeSean, as well as all of our players and staff, in order to educate, learn, and grow."


— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) July 7, 2020

The NFL, meanwhile, called the comments "highly inappropriate, offensive and divisive", indicating they "stand in stark contrast to the NFL's values of respect, equality and inclusion."

According to ESPN, Jackson spoke to Lurie and expressed his desire to educate himself, before subsequently apologizing for the posts.

"I just want to y'know first off, extend an apology on behalf of me and what I stand for," he said in an Instagram video. "I never want to put any race down or any people down, and my post was definitely not intended for anybody of any race to feel any type of way, especially the Jewish community."

In a follow-up statement, the second-round pick of the 2009 NFL Draft, added his intention was to "uplift, unite and encourage our culture with positivity" and vowed to do better.

"I want to apologize to the Jewish community, Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman, Doug Pederson, the Eagles organization and our fans for the insensitive and ill-informed posts that I shared on my social media," he wrote.

"My intention was to uplift, unite and encourage our culture with positivity and light. Unfortunately, that did not happen. I unintentionally hurt the Jewish community in the process and for that I am sorry! Now more than ever we must work together to end discrimination of all types and against all people and communities.

"This apology is more than just words—it is a promise to do better. I will fully educate myself and work with local and national organizations to be more informed and make a difference in our community."

In a tweet, ADL's Philadelphia branch said it appreciated both Jackson's apology and the Eagles' condemnation of his posts.

DeSean Jackson, NFL, Philadelphia Eagles
DeSean Jackson #10 of the Philadelphia Eagles prior to the game against the Chicago Bears at Lincoln Financial Field on November 3, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mitchell Leff/Getty