Allen Iverson became the latest star athlete to signal support for Louis Farrakhan on Tuesday. Two days later, he ended up disavowing the Nation of Islam leader’s rampant anti-Semitism, but did not apologize.
The matter began when Iverson posted a three-year-old picture of himself meeting Farrakhan on Instagram, including the hashtag “#BucketListMoment” in his post.
Iverson followed up that post with a lengthy statement on Thursday in which he said his support of Farrakhan stems from a relationship with Farrakhan’s son Mustapha. He described Farrakhan — whom the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as an anti-Semitic extremist — as a “strong voice” for the Black community, but also claimed Farrakhan’s remarks were different from his own beliefs.
Iverson emphasized that his post “wasn’t meant to offend anyone,” and that he does not support anti-Semitic or homophobic views.
Iverson’s post in support of Farrakhan was the latest instance of an athlete showing support in way or another for a man who has compared Jews to termites and Satan.
DeSean Jackson’s infamous Hitler quote was accompanied by multiple posts of Farrakhan that he has since deleted. Stephen Jackson — who wrote “Love u bro” in the comments of Iverson’s original post, called himself a fan of Farrakhan while defending Jackson. Kevin Durant was also seen liking a post from DeSean Jackson praising Farrakhan. Dwyane Wade hastily deleted a tweet showing support for Nick Cannon after the personality was dropped by ViacomCBS for posts supporting Farrakhan, among other things.
Pretty much all of those incidents sparked a backlash and, usually, a disavowing of Farrakhan. And yet it just keeps happening.
Allen Iverson became the latest athlete to wade into support for Louis Farrakhan. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
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