It’s been seven weeks since Jeffrey Lurie threatened to cut DeSean Jackson.
The 33-year-old receiver had apologized for his social media posts citing a quote commonly attributed to Hitler.
It wasn’t enough, Lurie said in a statement.
“He understands that in order to remain on the team, he must also commit to supporting his words with actions,” Lurie said back on July 10.
On Sunday afternoon, addressing Jackson’s posts publicly for the first time, Lurie said he believes Jackson has done enough to save his job.
“I thought the social media posts were disgusting and appalling,” Lurie said in his first interview in 17 months. “I don’t think anybody can take it any other way. You’re talking about a leader of a genocide (and) one of the worst individuals and a member of a group of individuals that we’ve seen both in our lifetime and in history.
“I’ve known DeSean for a long time. Obviously, we all have. He has, I think, really understood the ramifications of that appalling post. So far, everything that we’ve asked him to do to both educate himself and to learn and take action, he’s done completely.”
Lurie said it was important to understand the context of Jackson’s life and background when deciding whether to give him an opportunity to remain with the Eagles for his 13th NFL season.
“I think that in life, you have to understand fully where a person is coming from,” he said. “I listened. I listened. It doesn’t take away the hurt. It doesn’t take away the words. But I think that with DeSean, he’s doing the right things.”
Since Lurie first condemned Jackson’s social media posts and demanded he take action to education himself, Jackson agreed to a museum exchange program with Julian Edelman, where Edelman takes Jackson to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and Jackson take Edelman to the nearby National Museum of African American History and Culture, and also accepted an offer from a Holocaust survivor to visit the site of a concentration camp in Poland.
Lurie said Jackson needs to continue to demonstrate that he understands why his posts were so hurtful to so many people.
“That has to continue,” he said. “That’s a daily event, and that’s where that’s at.”
The Eagles drafted Jackson in 2008, and he spent the first six years of his career in Philadelphia before three years in Washington and two in Tampa. The Eagles re-signed him last year and he caught eight passes for 154 yards and two TDs in the opener against Washington before missing virtually all of the rest of the season.
He’s fourth in Eagles history with 6,276 yards and needs 189 to pass Mike Quick and move into third.
Jackson signed a three-year, $27 million contract with the Eagles before last year and is due to earn $6.2 million this year and $8.2 million next year.
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