Former NBA player Allen Iverson posted a photo of himself with Louis Farrakhan and said it was a “bucket list moment” to meet the radical leader, who has called Jews “termites” and “Satanic.”
Iverson, who was the NBA MVP in 2001 and made the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016, posted a photo of himself and Farrakhan smiling at each other, with the caption “I didn’t choose to be black, I just got lucky!!! #BucketListMoment ##LoveConquersHate #GoodDefeatsEvil.”
Farrakhan is the leader of the Nation of Islam, which the Anti-Defamation League designates a hate group. The ADL has called Farrakhan “America’s Leading Anti-Semite.”
Farrakhan has called Hitler a “very great man,” and compared Jewish people to termites. He also said “White folks are going down. And Satan is going down. And Farrakhan, by God’s grace, has pulled the cover off of that Satanic Jew” in 2018.
In the same speech, he called Jews “the mother and father of apartheid” and claimed “the Jews were responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out turning men into women and women into men.” And in a speech intended to deny that he had made antisemitic statements, Farrakhan referenced “Satanic Jews.”
Iverson isn’t the first sports star to praise Farrakhan or to peddle his racism. DeSean Jackson, wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, recently posted two photos of Farrakhan, one of which was captioned “#farrakhan this man powerful I hope everyone got a chance to watch this!! Don’t be blinded. Know what’s going on!!” Jackson also posted antisemitic quotes attributed to Adolph Hitler, but still has not been dropped or suspended by the Eagles.
Iverson’s fellow NBA player Stephen Jackson also came out in support of Farrakhan, in an attempt to defend Jackson’s remarks. “I love minister Farrakhan,” Jackson said. “He’s teaching me more about my people and how to do what’s right.”
Former NFL player Shannon Sharpe has also defended Farrakhan, insisting that he is not antisemitic. And Preston Smith, linebacker for the Green Bay Packers, shared a conspiracy-theory-filled video from Farrakhan on Friday.
Nor are these instances limited to the sports world. Nick Cannon, former host of “America’s Got Talent,” praised Farrakhan and called him the “honorable Minister Farrakhan.” Cannon also suggested the Jews had suppressed black people, and that black people are the “true children of Israel.” After Viacom CBS fired Cannon for his comments, Cannon responded by demanding an apology.
After Cannon’s anti-Semitic comments, former NBA player Dwyane Wade tweeted “@NickCannon We are with you” and “Keep leading!”
Wade later deleted the tweet and clarified that he was not “supporting or condoning” Cannon’s specific comments.
I want to clarify my now deleted tweet. I was not supporting or condoning what Nick Cannon specifically said, but I had expressed my support of him owning the content and brand he helped create 🙏🏾
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) July 15, 2020
Rapper Ice Cube has also tweeted affirmation of Farrakhan, cryptically claiming that “the Honorable Louis Farrakhan continues to warn America.”
The Honorable Louis Farrakhan continues to warn America to this very second and he’s labeled one of your “evil names” and you turn your ears off. Why is the truth so offensive that you can’t stand to hear it? pic.twitter.com/dhkMZTCyLQ
— Ice Cube (@icecube) June 11, 2020