'We can do better.' Jewish Chiefs right tackle Mitchell Schwartz decries anti-Semitism

Herbie Teope, The Kansas City Star on

Published in Football

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson on Monday created a firestorm with an anti-Semitic post on Instagram.

Jackson's insensitive actions were quickly met with condemnation around the NFL community, including in the league's front office and on Jackson's team, prompting the wide receive to issue an apology on social media Tuesday.

Nevertheless, the damage was done ... and it was even felt in Kansas City.

Chiefs right tackle Mitchell Schwartz elected to not remain silent and used his platform Wednesday night to raise awareness on the continued oppression felt by the Jewish and Black communities.

"As a Jewish-American in the NFL, I stand with my brothers of all races and creeds against any form of discrimination and hate," Schwartz posted on Twitter.

"One of the things that makes our game so great is the diverse background of the guys in the locker room, not just from a racial standpoint but a religious one as well. Although in my personal experience my teammates have always been supportive and interested in my faith, Anti-Semitism is on the rise in this country. Tragedy after tragedy, the number of hate crimes against Jews has reached record levels in the past few years.

"My hope is we can use this moment to shed light on and bring awareness to the hate and oppression the Jewish Community still faces while standing strong with the Black Lives Matter movement. We can only have change if we denounce racism and bias in all its forms. Our platforms as athletes are a powerful tool, and with them comes immense responsibility. We can all do better."

Schwartz isn't the only high-profile NFL player of Jewish heritage to speak out in the wake of Jackson's post.


New England Patriots star wide receiver Julian Edelman took to social media Thursday morning and invited Jackson to visit the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.

The controversy surrounding Jackson arrived as the country continues to deal with social injustice and racial tensions following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.

Two of Schwartz's highest-profile teammates, Patrick Mahomes and Tyrann Mathieu, participated in video with other NFL stars to call attention to the Black Lives Matter movement, and received support from Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt and head coach Andy Reid.

Chiefs defensive end Alex Okafor also penned a guest column for The Star to raise awareness on social injustice.

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