Former Eagle Malcolm Jenkins had his say on the fallout from DeSean Jackson’s anti-Semitic Instagram posts made late last week.
In a video posted to his own Instagram account on Friday, the safety and team leader of the past six seasons called the back and forth that resulted from the initial posts and Jackson’s subsequent apologies “a distraction,” and called for focus on the biggest issues at hand concerning the Black Lives Matter movement.
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“We gotta stay focused,” Jenkins said. “Comments were made, and they were wrong. Allow those who are impacted by it to voice their grievances. But we gotta stay focused, because Breonna Taylor’s killers are still not arrested. We’re still fighting for justice. We got a lot of work to do, and this ain’t it. Stay focused.”
Alongside the video, Jenkins wrote the following: “We can honor the Jewish heritage and trauma while staying focused on what matters. Jewish people aren’t our problem, and we aren’t their problem. Let’s not lose focus on what the problem truly is, and that’s that black lives still don’t matter in this country.
“Push this energy toward arresting and convicting the killers of Breonna Taylor and burning systemic racism to the ground.”
Jackson, a 12-year veteran receiver in his second stint with the Eagles, has faced harsh criticism since posting a fake quote attributed to Adolf Hitler in his Instagram story. The 33-year old wideout has apologized multiple times, said he would do better and attempt to educate himself, but has also insisted that the message he was initially trying to get across was misunderstood.
Jenkins, who was released by the Eagles and rejoined the New Orleans Saints in the offseason, became heavily involved in both the community and the fight against police brutality and racial injustice while in Philadelphia. He marched in the city at the start of the Black Lives Matter protests back at the end of May, penned a police-reform focused essay for the Inquirer, and made an impassioned, teary-eyed response when Saints quarterback Drew Brees said he disagreed with any player who would kneel during the national anthem.
Many have taken note that Jenkins’ response to Jackson’s actions were far more concise and tempered by comparison.
Stephen Jackson, a former NBA player and figurehead of the Black Lives Matter protests following George Floyd’s death in Minnesota Police custody, initially came to Jackson’s defense but has since made his own muddled apology for failing to see why the Jewish community was upset.
Current Eagles Marquise Goodwin and Malik Jackson have also come to Jackson’s defense but through a series of social media posts, comments and apologies that have since been deleted.
A handful of Jewish NFL players, meanwhile, have shared their experiences and spoke out against anti-Semitism, New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman the most prominent among them -- he offered to visit Washington‘s United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture with Jackson to get more educated on each’s respective issue, and he tweeted today that both have spoken and made plans.
It appears Jackson won’t be stopping there either, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that he has met with a group against anti-Semitism on Thursday and will be meeting with a Holocaust survivor today.