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Thursday, July 09, 2020

"Inside the NBA" Should Have Discussed DeSean Jackson's Comments and the Farrakhan Issue

It was great to see the original "Inside the NBA" crew tonight. "Inside the NBA" is probably the greatest sports studio show ever, providing a deft combination of intelligence and humor while covering a broad range of topics beyond who won and who lost. "Inside the NBA" has a long track record of thoughtfully discussing a wide variety of issues.

The high standard long set by "Inside the NBA" is why I am disappointed that tonight's episode ignored recent pro-Louis Farrakhan statements made by several high profile people, including Ice Cube, DeSean Jackson and Stephen Jackson.

Ice Cube has been a guest on "Inside the NBA" and he collaborated with Kenny Smith for a Kobe Bryant tribute aired by TNT. DeSean Jackson is an NFL player, but "Inside the NBA" discussed at length comments recently made by NFL player Drew Brees. Stephen Jackson is an NBA champion and a prominent sports media personality.

Ice Cube tweeted, "The Honorable Louis Farrakhan continues to warn America to this very second and he's labeled one of your 'evil names' and you turn your ears off. Why is the truth so offensive that you can't stand to hear it?"

DeSean Jackson tweeted with approval a quote that he (incorrectly) attributed to Adolf Hitler stating that Jews "will blackmail America" and Jackson also tweeted his support for Louis Farrakhan.

Stephen Jackson reacted to DeSean Jackson's tweet by repeating the classic antisemitic trope that Jews run all of the banks: "You know who the Rothschilds are? They own all the banks...I haven't said one thing that's untrue yet." Stephen Jackson also said, "I'm a fan of Minister Farrakhan because nobody loves Black people more than him. He hasn't told me to hate somebody one time. He's teaching me how to be a leader. Just because you don't like him, doesn't mean I'm gonna not like him."

It never should be acceptable to promote hatred, and one would hope that in today's climate any kind of hatred would be deemed unacceptable. Perhaps you are not familiar with Louis Farrakhan; perhaps you agree with Chuck D, the front man for Public Enemy--unquestionably one of the greatest rap groups ever--who once sang, "The follower of Farrakhan/Don't tell me that you understand/Until you hear the man."

Fair enough. Let's hear the man. Here is Louis Farrakhan in his own words:

"The Jews, a small handful, control the movement of this great nation, like a radar controls the movement of a great ship in the waters...The Jews got a stranglehold on the Congress." February 25, 1990 speech.

"I think Hillary Rodham Clinton is a part of, if you trace her lineage, she go right back to the Rothschilds. Her daughter is about to marry a Jewish young man. This is no accident." July 11, 2010 speech.

"How did we get a Black president? Because those Satanic Jews know that this is the time of your separation from them that God wants to give you a land of your own as the cornerstone of the Kingdom of God. You didn't see when they got in the room and said 'we have to deceive them and through them deceive the entire world.' How could they be the chosen of God and leading the world into filth and indecency?" October 3, 2010 speech.

"The Satanic Jews that control everything and mostly everybody, if they are your enemy, then you must be somebody." March 2, 2014 speech.

"[Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul] Wolfowitz, so-called Jew, but a member of the Synagogue of Satan...Satan is a human being without human characteristics. That's why the revelator called them beasts in human form. These are people sitting in the Pentagon, planning the destruction of Muslim nations...Wolfowitz had 10 years now, to plan how they're gonna clean out the Middle East and take over those Muslim nations. They needed another Pearl Harbor. They needed some event that was cataclysmic, that would make the American people rise up, ready for war...they plotted a false flag operation and when a government is so rotten that they will kill innocent people to accomplish a political objective, you are not dealing with a human. You're dealing with Satan himself, the Synagogue of Satan...you're dealing with Satan himself, the Synagogue of Satan...Now they got into the Bush administration and on 9/11 the Twin Towers went down...George Bush, and those devils, Satans around him. They plotted 9/11. Ain't no Muslim took control of no plane." February 28, 2016 speech. 

"I'm not an anti-Semite. I’m anti-Termite." Oct. 16, 2018 tweet.

During a July 4, 2020 speech, Farrakhan not only repeated the same kind of antisemitic hatred quoted above, but he also asserted that COVID-19 positive tests are rising in Florida now because he personally instructed Allah to afflict Florida. Farrakhan said that he did this to punish Florida for the U.S. embargo against Cuba, and Farrakhan claimed that Cuban doctors have a cure for COVID-19 that the U.S. government is suppressing because the U.S. government is using COVID-19 to kill Black people. That speech is available on YouTube, in clear violation of YouTube's policies against disseminating hate speech. 

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) summarizes Farrakhan's views: "Louis Farrakhan heads the Nation of Islam, a group he has led since 1977 and that is based on a somewhat bizarre and fundamentally anti-white theology. Farrakhan is an antisemite who routinely accuses Jews of manipulating the U.S. government and controlling the levers of world power."

The SPLC article about Farrakhan is worth reading in full. Here is an excerpt:
Farrakhan’s antisemitism has earned him some strange allies. Former Klan and White Aryan Resistance leader Tom Metzger was so impressed with Farrakhan's anti-Semitic bombast that he donated $100 to NOI after attending a Farrakhan rally in Los Angeles in September 1985. Given that white supremacists share NOI’s belief in separation of the races, a month later, Metzger and 200 other white supremacists from the United States and Canada gathered on a farm about 50 miles west of Detroit, where they pledged their support for the Nation of Islam.

Antisemitism is only one of Farrakhan's many prejudices. Over the years, his comments have consistently been rabidly anti-gay. "God don't like men coming to men with lust in their hearts like you should go to a female," he told a Kansas City crowd in 1996. "If you think that the kingdom of God is going to be filled up with that kind of degenerate crap, you're out of your damn mind."
The SPLC describes the Nation of Islam as a hate group: "Since its founding in 1930, the Nation of Islam (NOI) has grown into one of the wealthiest and best-known organizations in black America. Its theology of innate black superiority over whites and the deeply racist, antisemitic and anti-LGBT rhetoric of its leaders have earned the NOI a prominent position in the ranks of organized hate." 

Therefore, Ice Cube, DeSean Jackson, Stephen Jackson, and others are publicly aligning themselves with a man whose statements and beliefs are unequivocally racist, antisemitic, homophobic, and anti-American (and sometimes just bizarre, such as his remarks about instructing Allah to afflict Florida with COVID-19).

Imagine if a prominent white entertainer, a white NFL player or a white retired NBA player stated that he supports David Duke or that David Duke speaks the truth or that David Duke is teaching him how to be a leader? Do you think that "Inside the NBA" would ignore that?

"Inside the NBA" is watched by millions of people, and the "Inside the NBA" crew is highly respected and influential. They missed a golden opportunity to educate their audience about these issues. Ray Allen would have been a perfect guest. Allen has discussed how moving it was for him to visit the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Speaking of the Holocaust Museum, New England Patriots' receiver Julian Edelman provided a heartfelt response to DeSean Jackson: "How about we go to DC and I take you to the Holocaust Museum. And you take me to the Museum of African American history and culture...And we have those uncomfortable conversations." It would have sent a wonderful and positive message if "Inside the NBA" had spoken truth to power, and had asked Allen to give his thoughts about Edelman's statement.

I have often criticized Mike Wilbon for his basketball analysis, but I will give him credit for addressing directly and unequivocally the comments made by Stephen Jackson. On "Pardon the Interruption" Wilbon declared, "This is not tolerable...It undermines everything Stephen Jackson said so eloquently on behalf of Black Lives Matter. He has no credibility now. He has undermined his own previous good work with this garbage. And it's garbage. I know Stephen Jackson. I like him. If I was sitting with him now--I have worked with him--I would say, 'Stephen, stop! You're wrong. You're not speaking any truth. You're going to have to become more familiar with the truth via history. Let's read some. We'll read it together. This is insane. You are ruining weeks of actually trying to appeal to people on one level and then bringing your own bigotry and prejudice in at a time when no one can afford to say that, to have that, to entertain it.'"

Wilbon is right. It is a shame that Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley, and Shaquille O'Neal did not step up and deliver a similar message. For that matter, where are NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Louis Farrakhan has spent decades making it very clear who he is and what he believes. The time has past for the sports figures, celebrities, politicians, and public figures who have invoked his name to make it clear who they are and what they believe.

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posted by David Friedman @ 11:56 PM



At Saturday, July 11, 2020 4:57:00 AM, Blogger Andrew Hennings said...

Great post, thanks for educating me on this man.

At Saturday, July 11, 2020 2:59:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...


Brees and jackson

We're completely diff situation

Brees doubled down when jackson didnt

Farrakhan and jackson are comimg from a black perspective speaking on racism towards blacks from Jews. If u not black u womt get it

Also the saints and none of drew sponsors forced a apology. He got heat from teammate and social Media but never lost nothing.

Desean jackson was forced by eagles to apologize also riley cooper said n word and got a contract extension from same eagles.

I bring those up to say its no double standard on white athletes the double standard always been on the black.

Whites control the nfl they not gonna treat us better than they own

At Sunday, July 12, 2020 12:17:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


You're welcome!

At Sunday, July 12, 2020 10:01:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


I am not sure what you mean by "doubled down" in reference to Brees. Brees and Jackson are different, but not for the reasons you suggest.

Brees did not express hatred to any group of people. He expressed his opinion about kneeling/not kneeling during the National Anthem. After realizing that many people disagreed with his viewpoint and the way that he expressed it, Brees apologized.

In contrast, Jackson quoted with approval words he attributed to perhaps the most evil person in recorded history, Adolf Hitler. Jackson also stated admiration for Louis Farrakhan, who is indisputably a hate monger, as I documented in this article. Farrakhan is not "comimg from a black perspective speaking on racism towards blacks from Jews"; Farrakhan is spewing hatred, and he no more represents the "black perspective" than David Duke represents the "white perspective," though it is troubling to see just how many black people are receptive to Farrakhan.

Mike Wilbon was right on point when he stated that Stephen Jackson (who publicly supported DeSean Jackson while also praising Farrakhan) had squandered a lot of the good will that he built up after the killing of George Floyd. It does not empower black people to step on Jewish people.

Regarding Riley Cooper, I agree with you that the Eagles did not handle that situation well. Perhaps they learned from that mistake and they will handle racism and anti-Semitism better moving forward.

It is not clear if Jackson was forced to apologize or if he apologized on his own after realizing how ignorant and hurtful his comments were. I hope that his apology is sincere.

I am not a big believer in the so-called "cancel culture." I would prefer to see people reprimanded and then educated as opposed to "canceled." So, I would say that Cooper and Jackson should both have been reprimanded by the team and/or league, and then educated. The Brees situation is different from the Cooper and Jackson situations. Kneeling or not kneeling is a choice everyone is free to make, and then after you make that choice you may or may not face criticism, loss of sponsorships, etc. What Cooper and Jackson did is hateful and offensive. The kneeling controversy is more of a political issue in terms of what is the best and most effective way to peacefully raise the issues of systemic racism/police brutality.

At Monday, July 13, 2020 1:49:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...


The protest was never bout the flag kap and Every One been said this it was about police killings of unarmed black people.

Drew double down and was insensitive to george floyd and other victims by not acknowledging that aspect. That why people came after him

I dont think farrakhan is equivalent to david duke or kkk cause they advocate to kill black people cause of color of skin. Farrakhan never advocated that he spoke alot of truth how jews treat blacks many jewish people are anti black hollywood proves that.

They cant get rid of jackson if they didnt Riley

At Monday, July 13, 2020 2:20:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


I already explained the difference between Brees' comments and the comments addressed in my article.

Farrakhan has been identified as a hate monger for decades. This is well documented, and I quoted just a small--but significant--amount of that evidence in my article. Any white person who said the equivalent things about black people that Farrakhan says about Jews, Americans, gay people, and white people would be justifiably criticized.

Farrakhan's anti-Jewish rhetoric in many ways mirrors things that Hitler said. Hitler compared Jews to vermin, while Farrakhan compares Jews to termites and calls Judaism a "gutter religion." There are many other examples. Farrakhan's anti-Jewish statements are vile, indefensible, and promote hatred, which inevitably leads to violence.

It is unfortunate that you fail to see the truth about Farrakhan's hatred.

The Eagles have not gotten rid of Jackson, so your last comment addresses something that has not happened.


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