Kansas City Chiefs player Mitchell Schwartz spoke out on Thursday about Philadelphia Eagles’ DeSean Jackson's anti-Semitic social media posts, calling on the wide receiver to be more careful about how he uses his platform.
"I truly don't think DeSean meant any sort of hate or anything," Schwartz told CNN. "I think it came way more from a place of ignorance."
Jackson came under fire after posting a series of anti-Semitic posts on Instagram over the weekend, one of which included a quote about Jews falsely attributed to Adolf Hitler.
He has since apologized for the posts, which he said were misinterpreted.
A coalition of Jewish groups said that Jackson needs an education about “how dangerous and pernicious anti-Semitism and all forms of hate are”, adding they are willing to teach him.
Meanwhile, New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman invited Jackson to have “uncomfortable conversations” about anti-Semitism and hatred against Blacks.
Schwartz, an offensive lineman who is Jewish, played a season with Jackson in college. He told CNN on Thursday he believed the posts were the product of ignorance, not malice. Schwartz said he hasn't spoken to Jackson directly.
"He's reached out to the Jewish community there, rabbis and other folks, so I know he's definitely got a support system of Jewish people," Schwartz said. "I trust them."
Citing a recent rise in anti-Semitism, he said his message to Jackson would be to take the power of their platform seriously.
"I think we're realizing how much power we have, obviously on the field but also off as well," Schwartz said. "We have an opportunity now to bring light to (the rise in anti-Semitism) and hopefully make change for the better."
On his own social media, Schwartz shared his support for the Black Lives Matter and the fight against anti-Semitism.
"My hope is we can use this moment to shed light on and bring awareness to the hate and oppression the Jewish Community still faces while standing strong with the Black Lives Matter movement," he said. "We can only have change if we denounce racism in all forms."
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)