Former NBA star Stephen Jackson on Wednesday doubled down on his defense of DeSean Jackson, calling out critics who are “upset” after he claimed the Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver was “speaking the truth” in several anti-Semitic social-media posts.
“In other words, you’re upset with me because I didn’t say what you wanted me to say,” Jackson said Wednesday on Instagram Live, The Athletic first reported.
Jackson, who retired from the NBA in 2014 after playing for nine teams, came under fire Tuesday night after he defended the NFL star’s disturbing Instagram posts over the weekend. The posts included a quote falsely attributed to Adolf Hitler that white Jews “will blackmail America” for their “plan for world domination.”
DeSean Jackson has since apologized for the posts, insisting that anyone who thinks “he has hate towards the Jewish community” took his posts “the wrong way.” In a video statement Tuesday, he also claimed he didn’t know what the anti-Semitic passage meant.
“I never want to put any race down or any people down. My post was definitely not intended for anybody of any race to feel any type of way, especially the Jewish community,” DeSean Jackson said in the video.
But while DeSean Jackson was widely condemned for his social-media posts, the former NBA star still came to his defense, stating that the professional football player was “just speaking the truth” and calling out NFL owners for their silence amid nationwide protests against police brutality and racial inequality.
Over the past few weeks, Jackson, 42, has emerged as a prominent leader in the movement that erupted after his childhood friend, George Floyd, was killed by a Minneapolis police officer on May 25.
“So I just read a statement that the Philadelphia Eagles posted regarding DeSean Jackson’s comments. He was trying to educate himself, educate people, and he’s speaking the truth. Right? He’s speaking the truth,” Jackson said in a since-deleted Instagram video Tuesday, according to ESPN. “You know he don’t hate nobody, but he's speaking the truth of the facts that he knows and trying to educate others.”
While the 42-year-old later deleted the video—and posted several others defending his anger—Jackson appeared to respond to the backlash late Tuesday night with a post stating “your races pain doesn’t hurt more than the next races pain.”
“Don’t act like your hardships or [sic] more devastating than ours. And u wonder why we fighting for equality,” Jackson wrote. “Common sense ain’t common. Truth Hurts. Never waste time explaining to people who never supported u anyway. Free Game.”
On Wednesday, Jackson then doubled down on his defense of the NFL player’s anti-Semitic posts, calling out critics who are upset with his response and repeating a common anti-Semitic trope about Jewish people controlling the Federal Reserve System.
“You know who the Rothschilds are? They own all the banks,” he said. “I haven’t said one thing that’s untrue yet.”
Jackson added that the NFL player called him stating “they were threatening to fire him” over his social-media posts, and that’s why he went online to “support” his pal. The NBA star repeatedly insisted he doesn’t “support Hitler” and just wanted to call out the hypocrisy of DeSean Jackson getting criticism for his posts while other NFL players have done equally controversial acts without any retaliation.
The Eagles on Tuesday issued a statement condemning Jackson’s posts, calling them “offensive, harmful and absolutely appalling” before promising to take “appropriate action.”
“I don’t know nothing about Hitler. And I could give a fuck about Hilter,” Jackson said Wednesday. “Today I’m saying to you...fuck Hitler. I love Jews, and I love everyone.”
In a statement later on Wednesday, a spokesperson for Showtime—where Jackson hosts All the Smoke alongside former NBA star Matt Barnes—distanced the network from the ex-athlete’s remarks.
“We are aware of Stephen Jackson’s recent statements. Regardless of his intentions, Stephen’s comments were hurtful and inconsistent with the values espoused by this network,” a spokesperson told The Daily Beast.