DeSean Jackson denies gang affiliations in interview with Stephen A. Smith


Via ESPN

DeSean Jackson denied any affiliation with gangs or gang members during a taped interview with Stephen A. Smith that aired Friday on SportsCenter. Here’s some of what Jackson said:

On what the Eagles told him when they released him:

“The conversation I had with Chip Kelly was a deep, personal conversation, but at the same time, when he called me, it was basically like, ‘We’re moving forward. I think it’s best for the team; I think it’s best for yourself.’ I was sitting there waiting for a reason why, but that’s basically all I can really say from the conversation.”

On the NJ.com article about his alleged gang affiliations: 

“About the article, how I feel about NJ.com, from my point of view it was very disrespectful. I don’t think it was right, straight up. … The allegations and the things that were said within the article were things from a long time ago that I felt the club and the organization knew about previous years before that. To sit there come 2014 and hear all these crazy allegations, and crazy stories that half wasn’t even true, or whatever the case may be, I was  just very disturbed and didn’t like that at all.”

On whether it’s true that he’s a gang member:

“No, it’s not true. Honestly, where I was raised and where I grew up at, that’s the product of an environment. … The things I witnessed, the things I saw on a daily basis, kind of surrounded me around that. Do I know friends that are out there involved? Yes. I try to, you know, stay away from them. I don’t try to intervene and do things of any nature that has anything to do with negative activities, but I’m definitely aware and know certain gang members. But as far as me being affiliated, or me being a gang member, never not have once been. Never had any affiliation of going out and doing things that is against the law. I always felt that I’m a product of my environment, but at the same time, I’m the guy that wants to go out there and do things the right way.”


Via ESPN

On the gesture he made toward DeAngelo Hall during last year’s season opener:

“I did flick something at him, but as far as it being a gang sign, it wasn’t a gang sign. I think a lot of people overlook the situation with me and DeAngelo Hall. After the game was over, ESPN, people taking pictures, people saying this, people saying that, but me and DeAngelo Hall, that’s like a big brother to me. Me and him have a lot of respect for each other. That’s on the field; things happen like that at times. But as far as it being a gang sign, that necessarily wasn’t what it was. The aggression got up to a point where you’re going back and forth and saying things. It’s all friendly, but at the same time, it’s a game we play and emotions get out there and things are happening. As far as the signs that I throw up, I think that’s the culture nowadays.”

On reports that he’s been late to team meetings:

“For sure I have been late. I’m not going to lie about that. I’ve been late to meetings before. I’ve missed one meeting probably out my whole career. But at the end of the day, once again, we’re not perfect. Things happen.”

On reports that he keeps the wrong company:

“Early on in my career, don’t get me wrong, I feel I was hanging around or surrounding myself around the wrong individuals. But that was on me to learn and for me to understand, and make that change in my life. So now where I’m at in my seventh year, speaking from where I’m at today, it’s not true. … I’ve felt the past two to three years I’ve matured to the utmost.”

 

Scott Allen writes about all things DC sports. Follow him on Twitter @ScottSAllen or e-mail him if you’ve got a tip to share.
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