An open letter to DeSean Jackson

I have honestly stared at this blank page for the last 15 minutes because I don’t know how to start this.

This is a hard article for me to write.

For those who don’t know what I am referring to, it is the two, now deleted, quotes Jackson posted on his Instagram over the Fourth of July Weekend, attributed to Adolf Hitler. “They (the Jews) will extort America, their plan for world domination won’t work if the Negroes know who they were.” The quote is directly attributed to Hitler at the beginning of the preceding paragraph. This is my letter to the Eagles wide receiver.

Dear DeSean,

I think I should start by saying that I am not Jewish. I went to a Jewish middle school, my first job was for a Jewish non-profit, and I have many friends who align with the Jewish faith. When I was in eighth grade, I went to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and it is an experience that forever changed me. Some of my classmates weren’t tall enough to see over the walls that are made to keep children from seeing some of the most atrocious acts performed in human history.

Right now, the world is changing; largely for the better. We are seeing the powerful being held accountable, the biggest problems in our nation being seriously addressed and many are backing these movements. I don’t understand why at a time like this someone would think it was a good idea to quote one of history’s most evil men. In the best case, you were using the quote incorrectly.

As a leader in your community, which you are as a professional athlete, you need to hold yourself to a higher standard. You need to be the person children in Philadelphia want to grow up like. You need to be an example for all those kids who want to play like you one day, and who pay attention to you on and off the field.

I encourage you to utilize the resources around you. Julian Edelman, for example, has been a great example of what we need at this time, offering to take you to a Holocaust museum. I would encourage you to take the opportunity as it is eye-opening.

We cannot let the oppression of one group be an excuse to oppress another. We need to practice what we are preaching. Everyone is equal and we must do our best to end the discrimination of all people. I hope you take the time to further expand your world view.


William Hopkins

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