NFL player dismisses anti-Semitic controversy as a 'distraction'

NFL controversy regarding some players' support for Louis Farrakhan, one player's anti-Semitic comments continues.

David Rosenberg ,

New Orleans Saints defensive back Malcolm Jenkins
New Orleans Saints defensive back Malcolm Jenkins

An NFL player and CNN commentator has dismissed the recent controversy over a fellow player’s anti-Semitic comments as a “distraction”.

Malcolm Jenkins, a New Orleans defensive back who was recently hired by CNN as a contributor, released an Instagram message over the weekend playing down an anti-Semitic post by a fellow NFL player.

“Jewish people aren’t our problem,” Jenkins wrote in the post added to the video statement. “We aren’t their problem,” he added, saying that the controversy served as a distraction from the goal of “burning systemic racism to the ground.”

“We gotta stay focused. All of this back and forth going on is a distraction. Comments were made, and they were wrong. Allow those who were impacted by it to voice their grievances. But we gotta stay focused, because Breonna Taylor’s killers still haven’t been arrested.”

“We can honor the Jewish heritage and trauma while staying focused on what matters. Jewish people aren’t our problem, and we aren’t their problem. Let’s not lose focus on what the problem truly is, and that’s that black lives still don’t matter in this country. Push this energy toward arresting and convicting the killers of Breonna Taylor and burning systemic racism to the ground.”

Last week, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson came under fire after he posted quotes attributed to Adolf Hitler and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan accusing “white Jews” of having a “plan for world domination.”

The post also claimed that blacks “are the real Children of Israel”, and accused Jews of plotting to blackmail America.

“Hitler said, ‘because the white Jews knows that the Negroes are the real Children of Israel and to keep Americas secret the Jews will blackmail America. … The white citizens of America will be terrified to know that all this time they’ve been mistreating and discriminating and lynching the Children of Israel.’”

Jackson wrote in the post regarding the quotes “This man powerful I hope everyone got a chance to watch this !! Don’t be blinded. Know what’s going on.”

While he later issued an apology, the incident sparked a controversy which continued through the week, with other NFL players defending Jackson’s post, Louis Farrakhan, and even continuing to post statements by the Nation of Islam leader.

Malik Jackson, a teammate of DeSean Jackson, defended both the post and Farrakhan, writing on Istagram Thursday:

“the honorable farrakhan is nothing like that vile scum hitler. He speaks the truth and believes in protection of self and that scares ur racist a-s.. 2nd d Jack did not quote anyone he took a picture or [sic] a book that was to invoke thought and conversation.”

On Friday, Green Bay Packers linebacker Preston Smith posted a message from Farrakhan warning against what he claimed are the dangers of vaccines, drawing fire both for the video’s message and the publishing of comments by the Nation of Islam leader.