With questions now swirling about his speaking role in the NFL's Rookie Symposium after an arrest earlier this month, Adam "Pacman" Jones wondered why he wouldn't share what he considers to be an important message.
"Why would I not keep talking to the youth and help the youth out like I did last year because of somebody else acting up?" Jones told USA Today Sports' Mike Garafolo in an article published late Wednesday.
"I guess right now I'm getting accused of doing something wrong. The video speaks a thousand words and that'll take care of itself, but I don't see any reason why I should be shying away from any conversations or anything that matters to me and my youth."
Jones, the Cincinnati Bengals cornerback, will be one of the guest speakers at the NFL's Rookie Symposium, which takes place from June 23-29 in Aurora, Ohio. He also spoke at last year's event.
Jones has pleaded not guilty to an assault charge after police said he hit a 34-year-old woman at a downtown Cincinnati nightclub in early June. A police report lists the injury as a minor one. Jones’s agent, Peter Schaffer, told The Cincinnati Enquirer that Jones was defending himself.
Jones told USA Today that an "inability to escape his past" would be an important topic of discussion with first-year players.
"Of course, it will be. No matter how much I've done to improve or give back to the community or just growing as a person, the first time something pops up, it's all, 'Well, he's done this in the past,'" Jones said. "I've made this bed for myself. I'm not comfortable lying in it, but, at some point, the past has to be the past. … I'm truly proud of the person I've become and I'm still growing every day. I don't have no regrets or worries."