DeSean Jackson claims alleged gang signs he flashes are simply ‘hand gestures’
Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson confronts his past and discusses how it has crept into the present in an extensive and fascinating profile of the superstar athlete found in an upcoming issue of ESPN The Magazine.
In the interview, Jackson denies ever being in a gang or having any gang affiliations in the truest sense, but says he has known people in gangs and acknowledges he still associates with “certain people.” And yet, despite the allegations, he refuses to turn his back on his friends, where he came from, as well as the environment in which he grew up.
Further, Jackson insists the supposed gang signs he frequently is seen flashing in photographs on social media as well as on the football field are not gang signs at all, but are instead “hand gestures.”
“If I score a touchdown or make a play and my boys at home can see me throwing up the area we’re from, that’s me showing them love,” Jackson told ESPN The Magazine. “They weren’t fortunate enough to make it where I’m at. All my friends wanted to be in the NFL growing up, but they weren’t able to do that, and I was. That doesn’t mean I forgot about them. They’re my boys, I grew up with them, and I’m going to give them love.”
The rumors of Jackson being too heavily involved in gang life hit their crescendo when an NJ.com article laid out in considerable detail allegations regarding the wide receiver’s supposed affiliation with Los Angeles gangland culture.
While speculation was rampant that the Philadelphia Eagles were planning to cut ties with Jackson leading up to the article’s publication, his release by the team came almost immediately afterward, with some saying the timing was far too convenient for it to be a coincidence. His release also came a day after he posted a photograph of himself firing a handgun on Instagram.
Immediately upon his release, Jackson vehemently denied the allegations that was involved with gangs and signed with the Redskins five days later.
But the rumors regarding a supposed involvement with gangs continue to dog Jackson, which is probably why he agreed to explicitly address them in the interview and summarily deny the rumors at the same time.
Although for Jackson to say the gestures he makes aren’t gang signs but simply “hand gestures,” is disingenuous at best, a flat-out misrepresentation of the facts at worst. It’s like giving someone the finger and then denying any hostile meaning behind it, instead claiming you did it to pay tribute to the old neighborhood because people were giving each other the finger all the time back in the day.