“I didn’t immediately scream, ‘he’s an anti-Semite, he hates Jews,’ I just thought it was a very ignorant and uninformed post from someone who doesn’t understand what anti-Semitism is, and what posting anything about Hitler is unacceptable.”
Those are the words of former New York Giants offensive guard Geoff Schwartz, reacting to DeSean Jackson’s recent anti-Semitic Instagram post during an appearance on WFAN’s Moose & Maggie Show on Thursday.
Schwartz, who noted he was one of only a few Jewish players in the NFL during his eight-year career, went on to perhaps empathize a bit, noting that Jackson may not have had much conversation or understanding about Jews and Judaism during his NFL career, at least.
“I just thought it was someone who had zero idea about Judaism and the history of Jews. I’ve often found that a lot of players don’t,” Schwartz said. “Look, there’s only a few Jewish players in the NFL now, and weren’t many when I played, and you’re not out talking to your coaches and general managers about Judaism.”
That said, Schwartz agreed with the thoughts of New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, one of the few Jewish players active in the NFL, that this is a chance for education and conversation, not necessarily cancellation.
“It was a very uninformed post, and I agree with what Julian Edelman said today about using this to learn about Judaism,” Schwartz said. “I think education is more important than canceling DeSean – if you cancel him, he’s only going to feel even more hatred towards Jews, if he actually feels that hatred in his heart, and there may be more hardening of his opinion, maybe. The opportunity to learn and grow is the best way for DeSean to learn about why his post was taken the way it was taken.”
Schwartz posted a similar response in an Instagram post Wednesday, and had one parting thought for Jackson as perhaps a way to learn and grow.
“If you go to the Holocaust Museum, there is no way you’d leave without changing what you think about Jews and Judaism,” Schwartz said. “It’s one of the most emotional places I’ve ever been to – there’s no way you leave without it changing who you are.”
Audio of Schwartz’s quotes referenced here can be heard by refreshing the story and watching the video at the top, and you can listen to Schwartz’s entire segment by using the Rewind function on the RADIO.COM app.