DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) — Charlie Gelman grew up a huge Eagles fan, watching hundreds of games with his dad by his side.
One of his favorite players is DeSean Jackson, the star wide receiver. He even included a picture of himself wearing Jackson’s jersey on his Bar Mitzvah invitation.
So, when he saw Jackson post an anti-Semitic quote falsely attributed to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, he was shocked.
“It was heartbreaking,” said Gelman, who serves as a student assistant football coach for Duke, as well as an advanced statistical analyst for the school’s wrestling program.
Gelman said he was encouraged by the response to George Floyd’s death and has publicly supported the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s in part why he was so upset to see a lack of response from many athletes following Jackson’s post; on the contrary, Jackson actually received support.
“People say stupid things all the time, and sometimes you have to take the chance to learn. And I figured right now we all need to take a stance against hate. And I thought many people in the NFL community had, and I applaud them all for that.
“So, I thought they would take an overall stand on something as simple as saying ‘Hitler was not right,’ and that would not be a very hard thing to say. I think over the next day or so, as I continued to not read anything from people taking a stand, that was really what inspired me to write the letter,” Gelman added, referring to his Twitter post about anti-Semitism.