Stephen Jackson defends himself for defending DeSean Jackson

Stephen Jackson, a friend of George Floyd, speaks during a news conference June 2 in Minneapolis following Floyd's death.
Stephen Jackson, a friend of George Floyd, speaks during a news conference June 2 in Minneapolis following Floyd’s death while in police custody.
(Julio Cortez / Associated Press)

Former NBA player Stephen Jackson is not backing down from his defense of Philadelphia Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson, who apologized Tuesday for posting anti-Semitic passages attributed to Hitler.

DeSean Jackson posted the offensive content Monday on an Instagram story. The next day, the Eagles released a statement calling the messages “offensive, harmful, and absolutely appalling” and strongly hinted that a public apology was required from the two-time Pro Bowl player who once starred at Long Beach Poly High and California.

Soon after, DeSean Jackson released the first of two apologies regarding the incident, saying he hadn’t realized what the passages were about before posting them. And soon after that, Stephen Jackson spoke up in defense of DeSean Jackson (the two are unrelated).

“So I just read a statement that the Philadelphia Eagles posted regarding DeSean Jackson’s comments,” Stephen Jackson said in a now-deleted Instagram video. “He was trying to educate himself, educate people, and he’s speaking the truth. Right? He’s speaking the truth. You know he don’t hate nobody, but he’s speaking the truth of the facts that he knows and trying to educate others.

Nichol Whiteman has engaged in conversations on race with people around her for the first time, becoming more than the successful CEO of the Dodgers Foundation.

“But y’all don’t want us to educate ourselves. If it’s talking about the Black race, y’all ain’t saying nothing about it. They killing us, police killing us and treating us like … racism at an all-time high, but ain’t none of you NFL owners spoke up on that, ain’t none of you teams spoke up on that.”


Stephen Jackson faced backlash over his comments Wednesday. He said on Instagram Live that his reaction comes from what he perceives as a double standard between the way the Eagles handle DeSean Jackson’s situation to the way they handled that of former receiver Riley Cooper.

Cooper, who is white, was caught on video using a racist slur in 2013. He apologized, was fined by the Eagles and agreed to work with behavioral specialists. The next season, Cooper received a five-year extension from the team. He was cut in 2016.

“I don’t hate Jews. I don’t support Hitler. But they are wrong for how they’re handling D-Jax because Cooper said the N-word publicly at a concert,” Stephen Jackson said. “They slapped him on the wrist and he got a contract extension. Never talked about being fired. But they want to fire D-Jax.”

Also on Instagram Live, Stephen Jackson defended his admiration of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has been identified as anti-Semitic by the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center.

“I’m a fan of Minister Farrakhan because nobody loves Black people more than him and that’s just facts,” said Stephen Jackson, who has been prominent in the fight for social justice following the death of Floyd.

“I’m my own man. I believe what I want to believe and I love everybody else. … I know how to love the minister and love the Jewish people too. I know how to love the minister and love white people too.”