NFL Hall of Famer and Fox Sports commentator Shannon Sharpe defended a well-known anti-Semite on Wednesday.
Sharpe and his “Undisputed” co-host, Skip Bayless, discussed the rhetoric of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan after Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson posted a series of anti-Semitic messages earlier this week.
When Bayless pointed out Farrakhan’s history of anti-Semitism, Sharpe defended the Nation of Islam leader.
“He has made it pretty clear over the years he does not like Jewish people. Is that fair to say?” Skip Bayless asked Sharpe.
“Well, not from the conversations that I’ve had with the minister,” Sharpe responded.
“He’s made it clear to anybody that sat down with him, he says he doesn’t.”
Whether Sharpe agrees or not, Louis Farrakhan does have a long history of seriously anti-Semitic quotes.
The Anti-Defamation League describes Farrakhan as “quite possibly America’s most popular anti-Semite.” In an article outlining the minister’s bigotry, the ADL lists a series of inflammatory quotes that Farrakhan has said regarding the Jewish people.
He often describes Jewish people as “satanic.”
“You and I are going to have to learn to distinguish between the righteous Jew and the satanic Jews who have infected the whole world with poison and deceit,” Farrakhan said at a Chicago mosque in 2018.
“Satan is going down. Farrakhan has pulled the cover of the eyes of the satanic Jew, and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through. You good Jews better separate because the satanic ones will take you to hell with them because that’s where they are headed,” the Nation of Islam leader said.
One anti-Semitic trope is the belief that a secret society of powerful, wealthy Jews runs the world for its own insidious purposes. Farrakhan ascribes to that belief.
“I don’t care what they put on me. The government is my enemy, the powerful Jews are my enemy,” he said in a 2018 speech.
“Did you know that Jesus had a real problem with the Jewish community? They had power, the rabbis of that day, over the Roman authorities just as they have power today over our government,” the minister said in Indianapolis in 2013.
The few aforementioned examples of anti-Semitism are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Louis Farrakhan.
Vile #antisemitism which has now been viewed over 500,000 times. Known antisemite Louis Farrakhan makes a live broadcast speech in which he calls Jews “satanic” and “deceivers”
This hate speech should be universally rejected, as should all forms of hate and racism. pic.twitter.com/bUrtssnh4a
— 4IL (@4ILorg) July 5, 2020
Despite the fact that DeSean Jackson and Shannon Sharpe promoted and defended the work of a known anti-Semite, neither is seeing harsh pushback from the media or NFL.
On Tuesday, the Eagles announced that they “have spoken with DeSean Jackson about his social media posts. Regardless of his intentions, the messages he shared were offensive, harmful, and absolutely appalling.”
Conversely, after New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees announced his intentions to stand for the national anthem, various sports stars and media outlets criticized the NFL superstar as being insensitive to the plight of black Americans.
Honoring the United States by standing for the national anthem apparently is now more controversial than spreading anti-Semitism and defending a known bigot.
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