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Mitchell Schwartz urges NFL players to take social media seriously

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The Chiefs right tackle appeared on CNN Thursday night, speaking about the recent incident involving Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson.

San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

As the Kansas City Chiefs signed quarterback Patrick Mahomes to an unprecedented contract on Monday, a controversy involving Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson may have escaped your attention.

Jackson had shared a fake quote attributed to Adolf Hitler on Instagram, drawing rebukes from both the Eagles and the NFL. Jackson apologized for the post, saying that “anyone who feels I have hate towards the Jewish community took my post the wrong way. I have no hatred in my heart for no one.”

That led to another Instagram post from Chiefs right tackle Mitchell Schwartz that said, “As a Jewish-American in the NFL, I stand with my brothers of all races and creeds against any form of discrimination and hate.”

Appearing with CNN’s Don Lemon on Thursday night, Schwartz sought to clarify his feelings about Jackson — with whom he was a teammate during a single year of his college career at California.

“I truly don’t think DeSean meant any sort of hate or anything,” Schwartz told Lemon. “I think it came way more from a place of ignorance. That’s something we’re seeing from him the last couple of days, being able to reach out to people of different communities and learn more about them.”

To Schwartz, the whole incident represented a larger point about NFL players being more responsible about their social media posts.

“Our platforms are immense,” he said. “I think we’re realizing how much power we have — obviously on the field, but also off as well. Social media in general is such a huge responsibility. We have to really take that seriously. The past couple of months, we’ve realized how much power we have — how much we can change things for the better for our generation and for future generations. So making sure you kind of read through everything a couple of times [is important] — always trying to figure out what the wording is.”