An NFL player got extremely choked up as he condemned anti-Semitism a day after Philadelphia Eagles star receiver DeSean Jackson sent out multiple apologies for his uninformed Instagram posts.
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Zach Banner took to Twitter on Wednesday and stated he had trouble sleeping after learning that the 33-year-old Jackson had shared hateful, falsely attributed quotes to Adolf Hitler.
“There’s a common misbelief among black and brown people — and I know this from growing up (in Lakewood, Washington) and I’ve listened to it — that Jewish people are just any other white race… You mix them up with the rest of the majority and don’t understand that they’re a minority as well,” said Banner, who is black like Jackson.
“I didn’t know this until I went to USC and I had friends, who are now family members believe it or not, who are part of the Jewish community, current students and Alumni.”
Banner began to choke up even more as he spoke about the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue shooting that left 11 dead in 2018, his first season with the Steelers.
“Just tough, man,” he said while addressing the shooting from his apartment balcony overlooking Pittsburgh. “We need to understand that Jewish people deal with the same amount of hate and similar hardships and hard times. I’m not trying to get emotional right now. I want to preach to the black and brown community that we need to uplift them (the Jewish community) and put our arms around them just as much when we talk about Black Lives Matter and elevating ourselves. We can’t do that while stepping on the back of other people to elevate ourselves. That’s very important to me and should be important to everyone.”
“Change your heart, put your arm around people and let’s all uplift each other,” the 26-year-old Banner said.
Banner appears to be the only player who has publicly taken to social media to condemn Jackson for his comments. Things were much different last month when Drew Brees made his comments about the National Anthem.