(JTA) — A former Australian rugby star trying out for the NFL apologized for a “hurtful” tweet suggesting that the Jewish people killed Jesus.
In a tweet addressed to the Jewish community and using the hashtag #WeAreAllOne, Jarryd Hayne on Wednesday “sincerely” apologized for the tweets.
“I have come to understand how my words were hurtful to the Jewish community and this was not my intention,” said Hayne, 27, who is trying to earn a spot on the San Francisco 49ers, likely as a kick returner.
He removed the tweets on July 10 after articles about them appeared in Jewish media, and local media called his manager.
“I have and always will accept people of all faiths. I encourage my fans around the world to do the same,” Hayne, one of the best rugby players in his country for years, also tweeted Wednesday.
On July 1, Hayne tweeted that “Jesus wanted to help people but was killed by his own people. A day later he added, “The Jews were the people who took him [Jesus] to the Romans n [sic] forced them to give the order because they couldn’t.”
In 1965, the Vatican issued the Nostra Aetate, which officially stated that the Jews were not responsible for the death of Jesus.