For the first time since his social media posts caused an uproar and a dire warning from Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, a contrite DeSean Jackson discussed the fallout and declared himself a changed man.
Jackson’s posts in early July citing a quote incorrectly attributed to Hitler were “appalling,” Lurie said, and he challenged Jackson to take action to educate himself on the Holocaust or risk losing his job – and $6.2 million salary – with the Eagles.
“I’ve been just using the time to educate myself and really just man up to the actions I took and just educate and learn from it,” Jackson said in his first interview with Philly media since November. “Over the past few months I kind of had to reflect on just life. ... You know, people make mistakes in life and it was a mistake I made and I had to own up to it as a man, which I did, but I think I’m taking the proper steps to educate and learn from something I didn’t really know very much about.”
Jackson answered a couple questions about the social media posts before saying he would only answer questions about football or his involvement in the fight against racism and social inequality.
Jackson has agreed to a museum exchange program with Julian Edelman, where the former Super Bowl MVP takes Jackson to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and Jackson take Edelman to the nearby National Museum of African American History and Culture, and he also accepted an offer from a Holocaust survivor to visit the site of a concentration camp in Poland.
He said he also learned a lesson about social media.
“Honestly, just knowing what it is that you’re putting out there in the world,” he said. “Social media could be used ... for number of things and what I chose to use it for on that day obviously brought some bad light to myself, so just really knowing the ins and outs of kind of what to post, what not to post, just how to be careful about what you post, that’s the No. 1 thing that I’ve learned from it.”
When pressed further on what he’s learned, he said: “Once again, it’s a situation I’ve learned from, I’m not going to sit here and make this the topic of discussion, because I owned up to it, and I said my apology and took the proper steps to enlighten myself and learn from it.”
Jackson emphasized his community work in his hometown, in the Crenshaw section of Los Angeles, and how important the Black Lives Matter movement is to him.
“I feel like I’ve been a standup guy in my community and where I come from,” he said. “To go into those areas that are uncomfortable for a lot of people. I’m a front-liner. I’m a front-runner. I go in there and I try to help change the communities around by investing in my communities, helping with education reform, building relationships with the police officers, trying to talk to city councils and just kind of understanding how we can bridge those gap?
"Once again, I try to shed light on the George Floyd situation, the Breonna Taylors, the many more out there who lost their lives, Jacob Blake was paralyzed. I’m going to be a firm believer that ... we can come together regardless of color or regardless of race. It’s a fight we’re all fighting together.”