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Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson could face major financial consequences after posting a series of anti-Semitic messages that triggered public criticism from team officials and the NFL on Monday.
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Jackson, 33, is guaranteed $4.8 million in salary for the 2020 season as part of a three-year contract with the Eagles that runs through the 2021 season. He already received a $2 million roster bonus this offseason. Jackson’s employment status with the Eagles could hinge on whether his social media posts violated the terms of his contract.
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“DeSean Jackson's contract likely includes a provision that provides a right to cause an early termination to his contract with the Philadelphia Eagles should it be determined that he engaged in conduct that could reasonably be judged to be detrimental to the NFL,” Darren Heitner, a prominent sports attorney and founder of law firm Heitner Legal, told FOX Business. “Furthermore, the NFL's collective bargaining agreement includes language that provides the club or commissioner to impose discipline upon Jackson in the case that conduct detrimental to the club or league is found.”
Jackson faced widespread criticism after sharing a quote on his Instagram account which he attributed to Adolf Hitler. The quote said that Jewish people "will blackmail America. [They] will extort America, their plan for world domination won't work if the Negroes know who they were."
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Jackson also praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who the Anti-Defamation League has identified as anti-Semitic.
The Eagles said they have spoken to Jackson about his social media posts, which the team described as “offensive, harmful and absolutely appalling.”
"We are disappointed and we reiterated to DeSean the importance of not only apologizing, but also using his platform to take action to promote unity, equality, and respect,” the Eagles said in a statement. “We are continuing to evaluate the circumstances and will take appropriate action. We take these matters very seriously and are committed to continuing to have productive and meaningful conversations with DeSean, as well as all of our players and staff, in order to educate, learn, and grow."
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The NFL said Jackson’s posts were "highly inappropriate, offensive and divisive and stand in stark contrast to the NFL's values of respect, equality and inclusion."
Jackson apologized in a lengthy video message on Tuesday afternoon.
“My post was definitely not intended for anybody of any race to feel any type of way, especially the Jewish community,” Jackson said. “I post things on my story all the time, and just probably never should have posted anything Hitler did, because Hitler was a bad person, and I know that.”
The Eagles have yet to elaborate on what form their “appropriate action” to address the situation could take.
A 12-year NFL veteran, Jackson has earned more than $77 million in salary during his career. He missed all but three games in 2019 due to injury.
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