Hours after posting an apparent Adolf Hitler quote on his Instagram, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has suggested the message he shared was taken "the wrong way," saying he has "no hatred in my heard toward (anyone)."
As ESPN reported, Jackson posted two different pictures -- one on Saturday, and another on Monday -- with positive remarks about Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader, as well as pictures on his story feed of a quote he attributed to Hitler, in which "white Jews" are accused of trying to "blackmail America."
"(They) will extort America," the quote read, "(and) their plan for world domination won't work if the Negroes know who they were."
Farrakhan has been identified as anti-Semitic by the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center, with the latter noting that Farrakhan served as the top minister for the Nation of Islam, a "deeply racist" system "consistently rejected by mainstream Muslims."
Jackson re-posted the apparent Hitler quote after initial backlash, with Hitler's name and other parts of the excerpt blacked out. Since then, he's explained in an additional post on his story feed that he did not intend to disparage the Jewish community by sharing the quote.
"Anyone who feels I have hate towards the Jewish community took my post the wrong way," he posted. "I have no hatred in my heart toward no one! Equality. Equality."
The Eagles, who originally drafted Jackson in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft and brought the receiver back for a second stint with the franchise last season, have since released a statement saying in part that Jackson's posts "have no place in our society."
"We have spoken with DeSean Jackson about his social media posts," the Eagles' statement reads. "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."
Jackson posted the following message on his Twitter account on Tuesday night.
"I want to personally apologize to the Jewish community, Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman, Doug Pederson, the Eagles organization and our fans for the insensitive and ill-formed posts that I shared on my social media. 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.
"I will consider my words and actions moving forward. I will seek out voices from other communities and listen to their words, thoughts and believes. In a time of division, I am committed to doing my part in making this world a better place for our children."
The NFL has also released a statement regarding Jackson's posts, saying they were "highly inappropriate, offensive and divisive and stand in stark contrast to the NFL's values of respect, equality and inclusion." The league says it has also been in contact with the Eagles in response to the situation.