Patriots

Patriots

DeSean Jackson's recent Instagram posts have sparked an uncomfortable but necessary dialogue about anti-Semitism, and Julian Edelman is joining the conversation.

Jackson posted stories to his Instagram account last week that featured an anti-Semitic quote falsely attributed to Adolf Hitler and praise for political activist Louis Farrakhan, who has a history of espousing anti-Semitic beliefs.

Edelman, who is Jewish, responded to the Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Thursday via Instagram.

"I know (Jackson) said some ugly things, but I do see an opportunity to have a conversation,” the New England Patriots wide receiver said in the video. "I am proud of my Jewish heritage, and for me, it’s not just about religion, it’s about community and culture as well.

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Edelman explained that he didn't identify as Jewish until later in his life, and it was only after he joined the Jewish community "that I learned how destructive hate is."

"Anti-Semitism is one of the oldest forms of hatred," Edelman said. "It’s rooted in ignorance and fear. There’s no room for anti-Semitism in this world."

The Patriots wide receiver said he was called an anti-Semitic slur on the field in 2011 and made a parallel between the experiences of the Jewish and Black communities, which have both faced hate and discrimination in America.

"I think the Black and Jewish communities have a lot of similarities," Edelman said. "One unfortunate similarity is that they are both attacked by the ignorant and the hateful."

 

Edelman then extended an offer to Jackson, who since has apologized for his posts.

"DeSean, let’s do a deal. How about we go to D.C. and I take you to the Holocaust Museum and then you take me to the Museum of African American History and Culture," Edelman said. "Afterwards, we’ll grab some burgers and we have those uncomfortable conversations. This world needs a little more love, compassion and empathy."

Education is a powerful combatant to ignorance and hate, so here's hoping Edelman and Jackson link up to learn more about two minority groups with a long history of oppression.