The Anti-Defamation League blasted NFL player Reggie Bush Thursday for posting a comment on social media which seemingly equated between the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, and the Palestinian cause.
On Tuesday, a day after a grand jury handed down its decision that it would not seek to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old in August — prompting widespread unrest and violent riots in the US — Bush posted a photo on Instagram of a man holding a sign saying “the Palestinian people know what mean [sic] to be shot while unarmed because of your ethnicity #Ferguson #Justice.”
The photo was accompanied with a comment in which the Detroit Lions running back (and former boyfriend of American “derriere” celebrity Kim Kardashian) said “no matter who you are, what color skin you have, where you live, we are all in this together! This isn’t a Ferguson problem it’s a Global Problem!”
The racially charged case of the killing of Michael Brown at the hand of officer Darren Wilson has stoked passions across the US, triggering debates over the relationship between black communities and law enforcement. Since the grand jury’s decision was announced Monday night, protesters in cities throughout the country have rallied behind the refrain “hands up, don’t shoot,” and drawn attention to other police killings.
“Racially motivated violence is never acceptable,” said Abraham H. Foxman, the ADL’s National Director. “The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is not based on race, it is a political dispute based on claims to land, and by conflating the death of Michael Brown with the conflict in the Middle East, Reggie Bush demonstrates a severe lack of understanding of both issues. He should stick to football.”
Bush then posted another photo on Instagram, this time of a young woman holding a sign that read “Ferguson with love from Palestine” and in the accompanying comment denied equating between the two issues based on race.
“If you go back and read my posts relating to Ferguson not once did I write anything relating to racism in fact I actually wrote under one of the posts that it didn’t matter what your skin color was or what religion you practiced! I guess somehow this was confused for me being a racist? SMH! [shaking my head] …People all over the world have been affected by the unfortunate events that have taken place in Ferguson! I chose to take a stance on this issue because I’d rather have an opinion than to sit back and be quiet and say nothing at all!” he wrote.
The ADL said it has documented several instances in which the Ferguson incident was linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by anti-Israel groups and protesters.
Following the August shooting of Brown, which led to clashes with police, followed by a massive crackdown, Palestinian activists took to Twitter to express their support, with some advising local residents on how to cope with tear gas, based on their own experience with Israeli forces.
AP contributed to this report.