Patriots

Julian Edelman has an offer for DeSean Jackson after WR's anti-Semitic posts

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USA TODAY Sports

Julian Edelman has an offer for DeSean Jackson after WR's anti-Semitic posts

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.

Lamar Miller, agent Drew Rosenhaus confirm RB's signing with Patriots

Lamar Miller, agent Drew Rosenhaus confirm RB's signing with Patriots

Lamar Miller officially is a member of the New England Patriots, it appears.

The Patriots haven't announced Miller's signing after a report Monday that the free-agent running back had agreed to a one-year contract with the team.

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But Miller's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, confirmed his client put pen to paper Wednesday to join the Patriots.

Miller also confirmed the news by sharing Rosenhaus' announcement on his Instagram story.

 

Miller has topped 1,000 rushing yards twice in his eight-year NFL career and made the Pro Bowl with the Houston Texans in 2018. He missed the entire 2019 season due to a torn ACL, however, and his days as a workhorse running back might be behind him at age 29.

Still, the Patriots could use Miller's services with reports that Sony Michel may not be ready for Week 1 as he recovers from ankle surgery. Miller could fill Michel's role as an early-down rusher to complement James White, Rex Burkhead and James White.

Miller wasn't spotted at Patriots training camp Wednesday, but expect him to show up at Gillette Stadium soon now that his deal is official.

Agent Don Yee takes aim at the 'collegiate sports industrial complex'

Agent Don Yee takes aim at the 'collegiate sports industrial complex'

Don Yee is well known as the agent for Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Sean Payton and others.

But his longstanding effort to shine a light on the inequities of what he calls the “collegiate sports industrial complex” may wind up being as impactful on the game of football as the work he’s done with those greats.

This week, I spoke at length to Yee on our podcast about college football at a crossroads in this summer of COVID-19.

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In Yee’s view, the awakening that’s gone on among athletes as they’ve been strung along for months by the Dumb and Dumber coalition of coaches, college presidents and administrators has been building.

“It’s a situation that’s been gaining steam in my view for at least the last 10 to 12 years,” Yee said. “There’s been such a dramatic influx of money into the collegiate sports industrial complex that when you’ve got that kind of money coming in there’s just been a single-minded focus on generating more and more money and that focus unfortunately has taken over … college administrators, college presidents, athletic directors and coaches.

“They’ve actually taken their eye off the ball in that they have completely overlooked the fact that they have a labor force that isn’t being compensated,” Yee added. “In their single-minded pursuit of every single dollar they’ve forgotten about the care and concern of the athletes.”

Patriots Talk Podcast: Don Yee and the remedy for college football’s ‘industrial complex’ | Listen & subscribe | Watch on YouTube

Everyone knows big-time college sports drips with hypocrisy and greed. It’s a shell game in which literally thousands of people wind up splitting the billions of dollars generated every year and the only ones that never see a legal buck of it are the players.

The pretzel logic used to justify it is laughable. The best way to enjoy the product and the games is, literally, to ignore the reality.

Yee has, over the past decade, forced people to look at it.

“Over the decades we’ve created a unique system that doesn’t exist anywhere in the developed world,” he said. “Nowhere in the developed world does this exist. Where you have a system, a small group of football players every year – there’s 130 Division I schools and among those 130 schools let’s say 50 to 60 are the most critical players to that enterprise for that particular season.

"So it’s a few thousand young men and what they do is strap on the equipment and roll out there for an increasingly long season – now as many as 14 games – and go out there and put their bodies on the line to generate substantial amounts of revenue to support the lifestyles of the administrators, the coaches, the coaches in the non-revenue sports, all the non-revenue sports programs and athletes which then – by extension – helps support the U.S. Olympic program (as a breeding ground for the athletes before becoming Olympians).

“The success of the football program also supports the very existence of the university because if the football program has success, the university can then initiate a piggybacking off the excitement and success of the football team and begin multi-billion capital campaigns to build new buildings on campus etc. So all of this is due to the efforts of a very small group of young men every single year. We tolerate it. Ultimately, we get distracted by the pom-poms and the bands.”

Yee and I discussed so much more, including whether he thinks there will be an NFL equivalent to the NBA’s G-League (yes), details on his new venture which will help teams easily find the players they now have to kick over rocks to discover (like Malcolm Butler) and how the change in college will be shepherded in by the players.

Check out the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network or on YouTube.