New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman has invited DeSean Jackson to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., after the Philadelphia Eagles wideout made anti-Semitic social media posts.
Jackson, 33, issued two apologies on Tuesday after posting an anti-Semitic message that he attributed to Adolf Hitler and his admiration for Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan on social media.
Edelman, who is Jewish, addressed his feelings in an Instagram video post on Thursday morning.
"I have seen DeSean play in his career, make outstanding football plays, we've communicated over social media. I've got nothing but respect for his game. I know he said some ugly things, but I do see an opportunity to have a conversation," Edelman said.
"I am proud of my Jewish heritage, and for me, it is not just about religion. It's about community and culture as well. I am unusual because I didn't identify as Jewish until later in my life. Whenever I encountered hatred, it never really felt like it was aimed at me. It was only after I was part of this community that I learned how destructive hate is. Anti-Semitism is one of the oldest forms of hatred. It's rooted in ignorance and fear."
Edelman, 34, offered to join Jackson for a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, also in Washington, D.C., if he accepts his offer.
"I don't want to distract from how important the Black Lives Matter movement is, and how we need to stay behind it. I think the Black and Jewish communities have a lot of similarities," Edelman said in the video.
"One unfortunate similarity is that they are both attacked by the ignorant and the hateful. It's really hard to see the challenges a community can face when you're not part of it. So what we need to do is, we need to listen. We need to learn. We need to act. We need to have these uncomfortable conversations if we're going to have real change."
Edelman admitted in the video that he was the target of an Anti-Semitic slur during an NFL game in 2011.
Edelman, who was the MVP of Super Bowl LIII, caught 100 passes for a career-high 1,117 yards and six touchdowns in 2019. He ranks second in Patriots history in career receptions (599) and No. 4 in receiving yards (6,507).
The Eagles brought back Jackson via trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March 2019. A second-round pick by Philadelphia in 2008, Jackson spent the first six years of his NFL career with the Eagles (2008-13), catching 356 passes for 6,117 yards and 32 touchdowns in 87 games.
Jackson has recorded 598 receptions for 10,420 yards and 55 touchdowns in 156 career games with the Eagles, Washington Redskins (2014-16) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2017-18).
--Field Level Media