An American football star has been invited to tour Nazi death camps with a 94-year Holocaust survivor after causing offense for posting antisemitic quotes on social media.
It follows NFL wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who plays for Philadelphia Eagles, highlighting an antisemitic quote falsely attributed to Adolf Hitler and sharing support for antisemitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan on Instagram.
Jackson, who has been one of the NFL’s biggest stars for more than a decade, this week apologised for sharing the conspiracy theory, which says that white Jews “will blackmail America. [They] will extort America, their plan for world domination won’t work if the Negroes know who they were”.
The quote is based on a false story that Hitler sought a world war to stop Jews in America from oppressing black people and plays on the antisemitic trope that Jews secretly control the world.
In his apology, Jackson said: “I post a lot of things that are sent to me. I do not have hatred towards anyone. I really didn’t realise what this passage was saying… This was a mistake to post this and I truly apologise.”
The Eagles, whose owner and general manager are Jewish, said his posts were “offensive, harmful and absolutely appalling,” and told Jackson to “not only apologise, but use his platform to take action to promote unity, equality and respect”.
Now 94-year old Edward Mosberg, whose late wife survived Auschwitz, said: “I would like to invite you to join me at the sites of these German Nazi death camps to understand what true evil is.” He added that Jackson’s posts were “heart-breaking”.
Although it is not yet known whether Jackson will accept Mosberg’s invitation, CNN reported that he would Philadelphia’s Holocaust Memorial Plaza and attending an education session.
Jonny Daniels, founder of From the Depths, a Holocaust restitution organisation for which Mosberg is honorary chair, said: “Education is the key to making the world a better place and I truly hope that DeSean accepts Mr. Mosberg’s invitation, there is nothing more powerful than visiting a such a horrendous site, with someone who survived and hopefully after that he will realize quite how stupid and offensive his fake quote of Hitler was”.
— Desean Jackson (@DeSeanJackson10) July 7, 2020