DeSean Jackson’s anti-Semitic quotes falsely attributed to Adolf Hitler through an Instagram story caused quite the uproar across all social media platforms this past weekend.
Both the Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL have since condemned Jackson’s post. Yet, fellow NFL players have remained rather silent on the situation as a whole. Based on his experiences in the league, this outcome comes as little surprise to ex-New York Giants offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz, a man of Jewish heritage.
Giants Teammates Told Schwartz He & His Son Were ‘Going to Hell’
Schwartz informed The New York Post that he did not encounter “overt anti-Semitism” over his NFL career. Yet, that doesn’t mean he wasn’t placed in some precarious situations due to his Jewish Heritage, namely one uncomfortable conversation he had with two former Giants teammates in the cafeteria.
“I was eating breakfast one morning and it just happened,” Schwartz said. “I was told that if I wanted to be saved, I needed to convert and if I didn’t, I was going to hell. Then he made mention my son was going to hell and the conversation ended and I went on with my day.”
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Schwartz Compares D-Jax’s ‘Ignorant’ Post to Drew Brees’ Anthem Debacle
“There was more outrage, people were more upset with Drew Brees than they were with DeSean Jackson,” Schwartz told The Post, of course referring to the quarterback’s comments regarding the National anthem. “That’s just — I didn’t expect much, I really didn’t. I haven’t seen one NFL player talk about it.”
Schwartz, who spent seven years in NFL locker rooms, including stops with the G-Men, Panthers, Vikings and Chiefs, proclaims he was open about his Jewish heritage during his playing days but found most of his teammates were ill-informed on the religion.
“A lot of players in locker rooms don’t know anything about Judaism,’’ Schwartz said. “They weren’t raised around Jews, they never talked to any Jews, they don’t understand what anti-Semitism is, or could be.’’
Schwartz points towards the lack of Jewish athletes in the league for the likely reason behind the players’ lack of outrage over Jackson’s comments. Comments which Schwartz deemed “ignorant.”
“I think part of it is most of the people who have spoken out over issues that have happened in our country, they’re very and dear to their hearts, right?” Schwartz continued, “A lot of Jewish athletes aren’t speaking up about this because there’s not a lot of us, there’s like three in the NFL. I think some of them don’t feel comfortable talking about it, and why should they?”
“With Black Lives Matter a lot of players who aren’t black agree with the movement and are supportive of the movement. There’s just not a lot of Jewish players. I’m not surprised no one stood up for the Jewish people about these comments. That doesn’t really outrage me, though. I’m like ‘Alright, I didn’t expect anyone to stand up for Jewish people.'”
Even with his own ill-experiences, Schwartz remained adamant that Jackson should not lose his job, nor be suspended over his post, pointing towards cancel culture being taken too far. Instead, the ex-NFL lineman hopes this can be “an opportunity for him to learn a little bit.”