DeSean Jackson, posts a quote from Hitler, says he’s not anti-Semitic and then highlights the particularly anti-Semitic part.— Greg Price (@greg_price11) July 7, 2020
As an Eagles fan, this is disgusting. Where is the response from the team and the NFL? pic.twitter.com/MFPmz0PyOY
A day later, the Eagles responded with a statement they posted on their official Twitter account.
The team posted another statement on July 10th regarding how they would penalize Jackson. It seems as if the receiver will be allowed to stay on the roster, but will face disciplinary action.
Not long after, some prominent voices on Twitter, including former and current NFL players, began to speak up on Jackson’s Instagram post. Some of the names included Julian Edelman, Mitchell Schwartz, Shannon Sharpe, and Chris Long.
Current Steelers tackle Zach Banner wasn’t quiet on the issue either, taking to Twitter and posting a short video with his thoughts on the issue.
“When we talk about black lives matter and we talk about elevating ourselves, and we can’t do that while stepping on the backs of other people to elevate ourselves,” Banner said.
“Let’s all uplift each other,” he concluded.
His posts were received well by his Twitter audience.
Man, finally. Kudos to Zach Banner and I’m not surprised this came out of the city of Pittsburgh. Give this a watch https://t.co/Vu7J7bQ1WN— Adam Sinkoe (@Sinkoe_Cinco) July 8, 2020
Banner continued in a second post, calling on the NFL to pay “more attention to the situation”.
I’ve never heard of Zach Banner but I wish I had sooner. This dude rocks https://t.co/P5w2J4rfXD— Alex Brooks (@brook194) July 9, 2020
Steelers’ star defensive tackle Cameron Heyward posted a strong statement regarding Jackson’s post as well.
The tree of life shooting was a reminder of the ignorance and injustice. All we can ask for is an apology and actions behind the change. Time for growth.— Cam Heyward (@CamHeyward) July 9, 2020
DeSean Jackson has since posted an apology on his Instagram, admitting that he shouldn’t have posted what he did and saying that Hitler was a “very bad person”. Jackson went on to claim he was just trying “to uplift African Americans” while acknowledging that his Hitler post “was a mistake”.
Both Zach Banner and Cameron Heyward have been vocal on social justice issues in the past. And even though it’s impossible to expect everyone to agree with their opinions on every issue, fans have come to always expect a rational and well-reasoned opinion from them when it comes to sensitive topics. In polarizing times, the Steeles are lucky to have two excellent men in Banner and Heyward on their roster.