Vanderbilt Assistant Football Coach Apologizes for Defending Kanye West | Athletic Business

Vanderbilt Assistant Football Coach Apologizes for Defending Kanye West

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Vanderbilt University assistant football coach Dan Jackson has apologized after claims were made on social media that he defended Kanye West's recent anti-Semitic comments. 

StopAntisemitism, a group aimed at exposing antisemitism online, posted Jackson's remarks on Twitter. 

"He's not crazy," Jackson wrote in a Facebook post, according to Erie News Now“People try to silence him because he thinks for himself. People don’t want that. Rappers and athletes are taught to think the same as the media/politicans. If they have an opinion that is opposite the mainstream, they’re called crazy. More people need to wake up and speak their mind.”

In recent weeks, West went on an antisemitic screed, saying in one post that he was launching "def con 3 on Jewish people." Since then, many brands that West worked with have broken ties with the rapper, including Adidas. 

On Friday, Jackson apologized for his comments in a statement. 

“I want to sincerely apologize for recent comments that I made on social media. While it was certainly not my intent to offend, my wording was careless, and it was in poor judgement to wade into such a discussion without the full context,” Jackson said in the statement. “My comments were in no way reflective of our program or university, and I accept full responsibility for my words and will learn from this experience going forward. To be clear, antisemitism has no place in our society, and I reject all forms of hate. I’m embarrassed by my mistake but proud to work at a diverse institution where we can learn from each other’s cultures. I promise to be better moving forward for myself, our program and our institution.”

Vanderbilt University athletic director Candice Lee and head football coach Clark Lea also released a statement on the matter. 

“Although we have been assured these comments were not directed at any specific group, we are deeply disappointed by this situation and are handling it internally,” the statement says, without giving specifics on how the university will handle the matter. “The university and its athletics program are committed to creating and fostering a welcoming environment for all where differences are respected and all members of our community feel equal, valued and included. Please know that we reject antisemitism and discrimination in all its forms.”

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