Stephen Jackson Apologizes for Saying Rothschilds Own the Banks: ‘It Wasn’t An Insult’

July 9, 2020
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 01: Stephen Jackson #5 of Killer 3s plays against the Triplets during the BIG3 Championship at Staples Center on September 01, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/BIG3 via Getty Images)

Former NBA player Stephen Jackson issued an apology on CNN for defending Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson’s social media posts and saying on an Instagram Live video that the Rothschild family owns the banks.

Jackson, who is also an ESPN analyst, had defended DeSean Jackson’s (no relation) Instagram posts sharing a disputed Adolf Hitler quote and glorifying Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan as “the truth” in a July 7 Instagram video. Jackson told CNN’s Don Lemon that he was arguing that the Eagles treated former receiver Riley Cooper, who was caught on video in 2013 saying “n—–s,” more favorably than DeSean Jackson.

“The people that know me, my Jewish friends that I talk to today, they know the last thing I was spewing was to defend Hitler or any other post,” Jackson said. “That’s why I didn’t speak on Hitler or didn’t even speak on his posts. I spoke on exactly what I agreed with — they were handling him different than they was handling Cooper.”

When Lemon asked Jackson about his comments about the Rothschild family owning all the banks, the former NBA player replied that he and the co-host, who wasn’t identified in the CNN interview, were talking about money and that Jackson brought up the Rothschild family when his co-host said that Jews aren’t associated with money.

“It wasn’t an insult and he didn’t take it as an insult,” Jackson said. “Our conversation went on and we had a good conversation so the person I was talking to understood what I was saying, and he didn’t take it as an insult so I don’t think nobody else should.”

Jackson eventually apologized when Lemon argued that he should listen to why the Jewish community and allies of Jewish community view the Rothschild banking remark as anti-Semitic.

Jackson said to Don Lemon, “I apologize for using the wrong words. As I first stated when I first got on here, I could have changed my words. But there’s nothing I said that I support any of that [anti-Semitism]. There’s nothing I said that I hate anybody. I apologize for the words that I could have switched up but that’s the end of it. I know I love everybody and that’s how I always stand.”

Lemon then asked for clarification if Jackson is acknowledging that what he said was wrong even though he didn’t intend to offend anybody. Jackson replied in the affirmative.

Before Jackson’s apology, some ESPN hosts were criticizing Jackson’s remarks.

“It undermines everything Stephen Jackson said so eloquently on behalf of Black Lives Matter,” ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” co-host Michael Wilbon, who is Black, said on July 8. “He has no credibility now. He has undermined his own previous good work with this garbage.”

He added that Jackson is “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 see that.”


Stephen A. Smith, ESPN’s “First Take” co-host who’s also Black, similarly said on July 8 that Jackson’s remarks have taken the focus away from the need for racial equality.

“What are we going to be talking about? We’re going to be talking about Adolf Hitler, we’re going to be talked about being educated on the Holocaust and the Jewish community and Jewish history,” Smith said. “We’re going to be talking about those things instead of issues that directly involve us as Black people.”

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