New England Patriots star Julian Edelman addressed DeSean Jackson’s anti-Semitic social media posts on Thursday and offered to take the Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
Edelman is one of the few Jewish players in the NFL. He expressed his thoughts in a video posted to his Instagram.
“I have seen DeSean play in his career, make outstanding football plays, communicated over social media,” Edelman said. “I have nothing but respect for his game. I know he said some ugly things, but I do see an opportunity to have a conversation.
“I am proud of my Jewish heritage. For me, it is not just about religion. It is 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. Anti-Semitism is one of the oldest forms of hatred. It’s rooted in ignorance and fear.”
Edelman said he was called an anti-Semitic term on the football field in 2011 and said there was “no room” for that in the sport. He said he didn’t want to distract from the Black Lives Matter movement but also said both the Black and Jewish communities share some similarities.
“One, an unfortunate similarity is that they are both attacked by the ignorant and the hateful. It’s really hard to see the challenges a community can face when you’re not a part of it. So what we need to do is, we need to listen. We need to learn. And we need to act. We need to have these uncomfortable conversations if we’re going to have real change,” he added.
“So to that end, DeSean, let’s do a deal. How about we go to DC 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.”
Earlier this week, Jackson posted a passage from a book falsely attributed to Adolf Hitler. He also praised Louis Farrakhan in two other Instagram posts. Those items have since-been deleted.
Jackson has apologized twice for the posts.