Smith, 27, on Friday shared a Farrakhan video on his Instagram Stories from another account. In the video, Farrakhan warns his “brothers and sisters in Africa” against getting a vaccine. Farrakhan accuses Bill and Melinda Gates of wanting to depopulate the Earth, a conspiracy theory that has been propagated on social media and online forums since the coronavirus pandemic took hold in the U.S. in March.
It’s unclear whether Smith, who attended Mississippi State and is entering his sixth season in the NFL, actually watched the video. He is the latest person to share something related to Farrakhan who, according to the Anti-Defamation League, made false claims that Jews “owned a lot of plantations” and were involved in the slave trade, among other bogus accusations.
As recently as 2018, Farrakhan said in a speech: “The Jews were responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out: turning men into women, and women into men.”
But the ongoing furor over Farrakhan’s assertions haven’t stopped some NFL players from sharing or defending his remarks.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson set off a firestorm earlier in the week when he shared a quote falsely attributed to Adolf Hitler and posted Farrakhan videos and quotes. In one caption, Jackson wrote: “This man powerful I hope everyone got a chance to watch this !! Don’t be blinded. Know what’s going on.”
While Jackson was contrite in his apology and has taken the opportunity to educate himself about Jewish history, his teammate Malik Jackson defended him Thursday in a comment on Instagram.
“the honorable farrakhan is nothing like that vile scum hitler. He speaks the truth and believes in protection of self and that scares ur racist a-s.. 2nd d Jack did not quote anyone he took a picture or [sic] a book that was to invoke thought and conversation.”
New Orleans Saints defensive back Malcolm Jenkins, who is among the active social justice activists in the league, discussed the anti-Semitic posts DeSean Jackson made in a video and called it a “distraction.”
In the caption of his video, Jenkins wrote: “We can honor the Jewish heritage and trauma while staying focused on what matters. Jewish people aren’t our problem, and we aren’t their problem. Let’s not lose focus on what the problem truly is, and that’s that black lives still don’t matter in this country. Push this energy toward arresting and convicting the killers of Breonna Taylor and burning systemic racism to the ground.”
The Eagles disciplined DeSean Jackson for his posts but did not release him.
“DeSean’s comments were highly inappropriate, offensive and divisive and stand in stark contrast to the NFL’s values of respect, equality and inclusion,” the league said in a statement. “We have been in contact with the team, which is addressing the matter with DeSean.”