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Former NFL player Larry Johnson calls Jews a cabal, tweets the blood libel

Retired NFL player Larry Johnson is facing backlash after posting an anti-Semitic tweet accusing Jews of being a “cabal” responsible for crimes including “Sex Trafficking,” “Ritualistic Child Torture,” and “Human Sacrifice/Murder,” this past Sunday.

Johnson’s tweet draws on anti-Semitic tropes including “blood libel” — the ancient accusation that Jews use Christian blood in their rituals—and Jewish plans for world domination.

The former football player’s tweet is the latest in a chain of messages that started in early July, when NFL player DeSean Jackson shared anti-Semitic posts on Instagram. Jewish ESPN talk show host Max Kellerman reacted to Jackson’s social media posts by explaining on-air that there is no Jewish cabal with plans to take over the world.

“Jews do not have a plan for world domination,” Kellerman said. “I have no plan for world domination.”

Johnson’s post responds directly to Kellerman’s public statement, tagging the talk show host in the tweet. Attached to the tweet is also Kellerman’s video message edited alongside a clip from the 1998 movie “The Negotiator.” The scene is about how to identify lying and by interspersing it with Kellerman’s words, the doctored video insinuates that the reporter is not telling the truth.

Jackson’s and Johnson’s tweets have sparked criticism among the Jewish community both for their use of anti-Semitic tropes and their disproportionate coverage by media outlets amid the Black Lives Matter protests. Activists have spoken out about how excessive focus on anti-Semitism may distract from the more pressing conversation about race in the U.S.

The tweet has been publicly criticized by prominent figures including CNN correspondent Jake Tapper, who wrote in response to the tweet: “Larry Johnson continuing to spread his anti-Semitic garbage. What a disgrace.”

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