In his first extended interview since signing with the Washington Redskins, DeSean Jackson said the story about him having gang ties was "disrespectful" and that he was hurt by the fact that he was released by the Philadelphia Eagles, where he spent his first six NFL seasons.
Jackson told ESPN's Stephen A. Smith that he was surprised that the Eagles released him after the wideout had a career-year.
“I was definitely hurt,” Jackson said on ESPN, via Pro Football Talk. “It was a humbling experience. ... But it’s a business. It’s the NFL.”
Jackson was released by the Philadelphia Eagles on March 28 and signed with the Redskins on Wednesday, inking a three-year deal worth $24 million, including $16 million guaranteed.
Before he was released, NJ.com published a story saying the Eagles were concerned that Jackson had gang ties. Jackson says he did not think the story was right.
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“It was, from my point of view, very disrespectful,” Jackson said. “I don’t think it was right, straight up. The allegations, the things that were said in the article, were things from a long time ago that the club, the organization knew about.”
Jackson again denied that he is in a gang.
“Do I know friends that are out there, involved? Yes. I try to, you know, stay away from it,” Jackson said. “I’m definitely aware and know certain gang members, but as far as me being affiliated or me being a gang member? Never have I once been. Never had any affiliation of going out and doing things that are against the law. I always felt I’m a product of my environment, but at the same time I’m the guy who wants to go out there and do things the right way.”
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