DeSean Jackson releases statement thanking Eagles, denying any gang ties
DeSean Jackson didn’t take long to release a statement in the wake of the Philadelphia Eagles releasing him. In the statement, he first thanks the Eagles organization, but then goes on to deny the allegations related to his rumored involvement in gang activity.
The statement first appeared on the Facebook page of ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter, of all places. It reads:
“First I would like to thank the Eagles organization, the Eagles fans and the city of Philadelphia for my time in Philly. I would also like to thank coach Andy Reed for bringing me in. Secondly, I would like to address the misleading and unfounded reports that my release has anything to do with any affiliation that has been speculated surrounding the company I keep off of the field. I would like to make it very clear that I am not and never have been part of any gang. I am not a gang member and to speculate and assume that I am involved in such activity off the field is reckless and irresponsible. 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.”
Vehemently stated, to be sure, although Jackson deserves credit for thanking the Eagles first. But if being overly nitpicking, Andy Reid’s name is spelled incorrectly. Oh well.
The speculation is the biggest concern the Eagles had in Jackson was with his off-the-field issues, likely involving some potentially damning details found in a report from NJ.com’s Eliot Shorr-Parks about how the Los Angeles Police Department allegedly has spoken with Jackson twice regarding gang-related murders.
While Jackson was never considered a suspect in either homicide, one involved a rapper signed to his Jaccpot record label and the other allegedly occurred in a residence “owned or leased by a member of Jackson’s family.”
The relevant information from Shorr-Parks’ piece (excerpted from a Crossing Broad post):
Acting on unspecified information that Jackson might have knowledge of Shakir’s activities on the night of Watson’s murder, LAPD detective Eric Crosson said he interviewed Jackson on the phone in late 2011. Crosson wouldn’t reveal details of that conversation, but he described Jackson as “cooperative at the time.”
Crosson also told NJ.com that he reached out to the Eagles by phone in early 2011 — even before he interviewed Jackson — as a courtesy to alert them to Jackson’s connection to an alleged killer. He never received a response from the team, he said.
The following year, the Eagles signed Jackson to a five-year, $48.5 million contract extension.
When contacted by NJ.com on Wednesday, the Eagles issued a statement that they “no comment at this time,” and team officials would neither confirm nor deny whether anyone in the front office had spoken to Crosson about Jackson’s ties to a homicide suspect. On Thursday, a source in the organization said current front-office members had been unaware of Jackson’s links to an alleged killer.
A second murder:
A little over a year after the rising NFL star was interviewed by police about his connection to Shakir, Jackson’s name once again made its way onto the desk of Detective Crosson.
This time, Jackson’s name surfaced as part of an investigation into a 2012 gang-related murder that occurred outside a South Los Angeles business where a party had taken place. The building was owned or leased by a member of Jackson’s family, police said.
During a search of the building, Crosson told NJ.com investigators found several documents belonging to Jackson, including a car title, a gun permit issued in New Jersey and credit-card receipts.
After discovering the documents, Crosson said he made multiple attempts to contact Jackson by phone, but never was able to connect with the wide receiver. Crosson added that Jackson was never considered a suspect in the crime.
Quite a tangled web. Given the brilliant reporting work conducted by Eliot Shorr-Parks in the article, one can reasonably assume that the Eagles did their due diligence, and given the resources at the team’s disposal, also did a fair share of digging and came up with at least, if not more, dirty laundry related to Jackson’s allegedly seedy personal life.