Vanderbilt football defensive backs coach Dan Jackson will "step back" from the program after he made comments defending Kanye West's antisemitic remarks on Facebook, according to athletic director Candice Lee. Jackson wrote that West, who has made a series of antisemitic comments in recent weeks, is "two steps ahead of everyone" and that "more people need to wake up and speak their mind."
In the wake of that post, Lee has issued a statement about Jackson's status with the Commodores. Lee condemned antisemitism of any kind and announced that the university's Equal Opportunity and Access office will be reviewing the incident. While the review is ongoing, Jackson will "step back" from his role with the team.
"To be clear, Vanderbilt rejects antisemitism, racism and discrimination in all its forms," Lee said in a statement. "Consistent with Vanderbilt's process for addressing reports of discrimination, the matter has now been referred to our Equal Opportunity and Access office for review. It is important the university follow its standard process and conduct a thorough review of the complexities of this incident.
"Coach Jackson and I have agreed that he will step back from his responsibilities with the team during the Equal Opportunity and Access office's review."
Jackson has since apologized for the post and said that he was "careless" with his words. He also vowed to be better in the future.
"I want to sincerely apologize for recent comments that I made on social media," Jackson wrote in a statement. "While it was certainly not my intent to offend, my wording was careless, and it was in poor judgment to wade into such a discussion without the full context. My comments were in no way reflective of our program or university and I accept full responsibility for my words and will learn from this experience going forward.
"To be clear, antisemitism has no place in our society, and I reject all forms of hate. I'm embarrassed by my mistake but proud to work at a diverse institution where we can learn from each other's cultures. I promise to be better moving forward for myself, our program and our institution."
Jackson is in his first season on the Vanderbilt coaching staff. Commodores head coach Clark Lea hired him following the 2021 season, when Jackson was an assistant coach at Northern Illinois.