Oakland Raiders: Philadelphia Eagles Claim DeSean Jackson Has Gang Ties

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Nov 3, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10) on the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. The Eagles won 49-20. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

To make matters worse, the title of Jackson’s record label was also called into question.  Come on man!  Is there an end to the madness.  Are we, the public, to scrutinize a player based on a name they choose for their business?  To me it just seems ridiculous.  Then, as if it wasn’t enough, Jackson’s childhood is called into question.  Don’t get me wrong, we all reach that age when we can discern between right and wrong, but it just seems like somebody is trying to smear Jackson’s name.

Unfortunately for a lot of players in the NFL today, one bad egg can cause the entire carton to go bad.  What I mean is, the New England Patriots Aaron Hernandez incident has caused the NFL to begin scrutinizing some of the activities players participate in off-the-field.  As a professional football player in the limelight, and as a representative of a football team and the NFL, it is the player’s responsibility to ensure that they stay away from illegal activities and people who could call their character into question.

When asked about his involvement with gangs, Jackson stated, “I work very hard on and off-the-field, and I am a good person with good values.  I am proud of the accomplishments that I have made both on and off-the-field.  I have worked tirelessly to give back to my community and have a positive impact on those in need.  It is unfortunate that I now have to defend myself and my intentions.  These reports are irresponsible and just not true.  I look forward to working hard for my new team.  God Bless.”

Personally, I don’t get the feeling that Jackson is a gang member.  Still, NJ.com drummed up Jackson’s arrest charges from 2009 that were for possession of marijuana while driving a vehicle, disturbing the peace, and tinted windows.  Last time I checked, these charges carry no relation to gang involvement whatsoever.  A poor decision on Jackson’s part, but no gang related activity.

Since being drafted by the Eagles in 2008, Jackson has been a 3-time Pro-Bowl player, he has been an active member of the Philadelphia community, and he is involved with several charitable organizations.  One that sticks out the most is his campaign against youth bullying.  He’s trying to keep kids out of gangs.

Let’s not label Jackson as a gang member based on photographs or the color of the shirt he happens to be wearing or the record label that he owns.  Instead, I wish the Eagles had just issued a statement informing the media that it was just time to part ways with Jackson.  They could have cited Jackson’s unwillingness to take a pay cut, or maybe Jackson wasn’t the type of receiver Head Coach Chip Kelly wanted in his offensive scheme.  Don’t smear a mans name just to get rid of him.