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Washington Commanders defensive tackle Jonathan Allen apologized for a since-deleted tweet in which he said Adolf Hitler was one of three people living or dead with whom he’d like to have dinner.
Allen, Washington’s nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award for the second consecutive year, had told his nearly 68,000 Twitter followers early Wednesday morning to “Ask me anything.” One of them asked which three people, dead or alive, would he want to have at the dinner table. Allen responded by saying his “granddad, hitler and michael jackson.”
When asked to explain Hitler, he said in a tweet also since deleted, “He’s a military genius and I love military tactics but honestly I would want to pick his brain as to why he did what he did. I’m also assuming that the people I’ve chosen have to answer all my questions honestly.”
Later in the day, Allen tweeted: “Early I tweeted something that probably hurt people and I apologize about what I said. I didn’t express properly what I was trying to say and I realize it was dumb!”
When pressed on his dinner choice following the initial tweet, Allen said he was merely saying why it would be interesting to speak with Hitler, not giving him “props.” He also said Hitler — the German dictator who initiated World War II and the Holocaust, killing millions of Jews — is easily one of “if not the most evil persons to have ever lived but this was a hypothetical question.”
He later responded to another person who identified himself as Jewish by apologizing for offending him. “I was just answering a question,” Allen said.
Allen, a team captain, played in his first Pro Bowl game Sunday and has become a key face of the franchise since it drafted him in the first round in 2017. He was the only current player at the ceremony to unveil the team’s new name and uniforms.