DeSean Jackson’s high school coach dismisses story of gang ties

AP

People who knew Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson in high school are speaking out against a report that Jackson has gang connections.

Jackson’s coach at Long Beach Poly High School, Raul Lara, was quoted in the NJ.com story about Jackson’s alleged gang affiliations as saying that Jackson “started to hang around some not-so-good people” after his father died. But Lara told the Long Beach Press-Telegram that he did not mean that Jackson was in a gang.

“Gangbanger, what the hell is that about? He’s not a gangbanger. All I was saying was that it was a tragic part of his life when his father died,” Lara said. “He’s not a gangbanger, I don’t know where they’re getting that from, and I didn’t say that he was. I was close with his dad and I know that when his dad passed it really hit him.”

Jackson’s high school counselor Debbie Hughes also said she has seen nothing to indicate that Jackson has gang ties.

“DeSean is a great guy — he was a sweet kid when he was in high school, always very polite and respectful with me,” Hughes said. “There was no gang activity with him. He wasn’t in a gang. That’s not to say other students weren’t, but DeSean definitely wasn’t one of them.”

Before NFL teams consider investing millions of dollars in Jackson, they’ll scrutinize his personal life. If the people at Jackson’s high school are to be believed, NFL teams will like what they find out.

65 responses to “DeSean Jackson’s high school coach dismisses story of gang ties

  1. This seems to be more about the Eagles wanting to save money and they were using the NJ.com article last week as a cover for fans who might not understand it. The Eagles have a LONG history of cutting players one year too soon as opposed to one year too late, and this fits right in with that.

  2. So you’re telling me that the principal and guidance counselor from the high school he attended 10 years ago- STILL know what he’s up to today?

  3. Sounds like a bum way for the Eagles to release a star player and the money he would get without enraging the fans. What they’re saying is that they didn’t “investigate” him 6 years ago and now they have questions. Hopefully they review all of their employees pasts and dismiss them accordingly.

  4. He’s not in a gang but he does roll with gang bangers. There is picture evidence to support that and that could be more than enough for teams not to take a risk after Hernandez

  5. Then why has he flashed gang signs in public . It’s on film. He even did it with Snoop. There’s no way he would do that if he wasn’t a member.

  6. When you grow up in the inner city, it’s not hard AT ALL to be “associated” with criminals. Some of my best friends that I grew up with are in jail for murder, or sell drugs or have done all kinds of evil and I greet them like brothers when I see them. Does that mean I do what they do or even approve of it, absolutely not. I’m 32, have been married for 7 years with 2 kids and have held a job in Information Technology for almost a decade and if you did an extensive background check on me, you could link me to some gangstas, killers and hustlers. They would never let me ruin my life doing what they do, they respect me for being who I am, and in many ways hope to one day turn things around and get like me. That’s why they like being around successful people, not to corrupt them, but inspiration and motivation to do something better with their lives. People who never lived in the environment we come from will never understand it.

  7. well there’s a story…when he was 17 he didn’t have gang ties…how could anyone have ever connected such a sweet young man to gangs? How about from being in pictures with known gang members flashing gang signs…how about flashing gang signs in the face of another NFL player…Who cares who this guy was when he was young…who he is now is what matters and I didn’t want him in Philly before I heard about possible gang ties let alone now. Glad he’s gone

  8. Lmao, Marshawn Lynch is a legit gang member throwing up signs and stuff almost every where he goes and has a criminal record, and no one makes a big deal about it.

    And the fact Desean is even rumored to be involved is a national headline?

    This is clearly some type of league wide collusion to drive down his price. If he wasnt asking for 10 million a year and only something like 2 or 3 i bet you all 32 teams would be visiting him.

  9. Kelly needs to go!! he is an idiot, he wanted to trade N. Foles. I guess this will make room for more former Ducks who couldn’t win a national title.

  10. That’s fine for them to say so. I Guess they can’t explain why he has pictures of himself with gang members and he is routinely throwing up gang sings then. Why is he pretending to be gang affiliated then?

  11. No doubt, Jackson probably had friends who were gangbangers when he was in high school. But since college and his pro career how many “incidents” or ties to any type of gang activity has there been?
    The “gang ties are a convenient excuse fo a team to get out of a high paying contract with a top rated player they believe is not worth what they would have to pay him. If they just cut him, fans would go nuts especially after releasing Vick and bacically doing nothing in free agency. So paint him as a “potential” problem, and your fans will be OK with his release.

  12. People who have never lived in the hood will NEVER understand the people in it. I’m married with kids, and a career in information technology and a background check could reveal that I’m “associated” with some gangsters, killers, and drug dealers. I grew up with them, and just because of what they’ve done or continue to do doesn’t mean I stop knowing them or stop caring about them as people. Many of them are like brothers to me, and our friendship is based off of what we mean to each other not our lifestyles. Do we hang out, no but that’s not to say we wouldn’t go grab a couple drinks or something like that. It’s easy to be ASSOCIATED with anyone, and people try to define you based on who you know or who knows you and that sucks. Why dont they start “Associating” some of these executives with other shady executives who are sex offenders and drunks, or have done shady business in the past.

  13. This smells of typical NFL character assassination. I’m not such a DJax fan because I’ve always felt he was too much of a “ME” guy, but it’s kinda funny that there were rumors about him being released for weeks and then this story broke and Philly released him. Sounds like Philly spread the rumor to save face for cutting the guy. Man up Philly front office. If you wanna cut the guy just cut him.

  14. you know your career trajectory has taken a turn for the worse when you’re relying on your high school gym coach for a reference.

  15. Raiders or Redskins will waste big money on this guy,because that’s what they do .Raiders love the saying “one mans trash is another mans treasure.And Dan Synder will throw the bank at anyone with a name

  16. Some player are just a mixed blessing. They may be very talented but at the same time, they can bring large egos, cause problems in the locker room, and complain when they don’t get the ball enough. The question is do they bring enough benefit to justify the disruption to the team. The Eagles have made their judgement.

  17. Last time I checked there are half a dozen teams interested. The only ones who arent, are the ones who either dont need him, cant afford him or who arent smart enough to add him to their roster.

  18. We’ve all seen how he acts on the field… Hard to believe sweet, respectful kids act like he does on live TV. Great player with a bad attitude.

  19. the parallel between jackson and hernandez is they both used nfl sourced wealth to bankroll gang activity which is presumably illegal. in hernandez’s case it was gun purchasing in FL and running them up the east coast to boston area. who knows what jackson was funding. but it sure wasn’t sunday afternoon barbeques.

  20. The NFL folks certainly are aware of issues………its a billion dollar business where talent is king…..so these teams are not making these types of decisions without a reason.

  21. So I guess the photos of him with gang members were photoshopped, anyway that wasn`t the sole reason he was released.

  22. right because NFL teams hate good players and make stuff up so they can get them on another team. maybe his mom can come out and say “my boy is a good kid”.

  23. Looks like somebody got a call from somebody else’s lawyer, who said something about slander.

  24. So, I want to get this straight, one WR hurls racial epithets and gets a new contract, the other flashes gang signs and gets his walking papers.

    Why aren’t both gone?

  25. If life has taught me anything it is that the opinions of people from high school should immediately be disregarded unless they’re negative. The gang bangers are saying they don’t know him. I believe them.

  26. Lol, the Eagles are paying him $4M this year to NOT play for them. That is VERY unEaglelike. Anyone who thinks this is just about a stupid story from some nobody’s blog in a nj website are idiots. Something stinks with this whole thing. The eagles aren’t releasing a 27yo pro bowler for petty reasons.

  27. Everyone is an expert-on both sides of the fence. Here is what we know: he has taken pictures with known gang members, one of whom shot a 14 year old boy in the back from a car for flashing rival signs. He threw the Crip sign in the face of DeAngelo Hall. He has a me first attitude, or, at the VERY least has his mind on too many other things besides doing what it takes to win games. The rest is pure speculation. Drawing these wild conclusions is now the way of the world, the truth may not even be revealed, but for the above facts alone, are why we are talking about it. None of you commenting above know a single thing about the man’s past with whomever or current associations. I am always amazed it even needs saying.

  28. Yeah, this is classic character assassination. Even the nj.com article cited people talking about work he did with kids in the community, etc. The Eagles just helped this stuff along so they could dump him and avoid paying what they owed. The worst person Jackson associates with is probably Riley Cooper.

  29. I know DeSean then and and now. He loves the Hip Hop west coast culture. Some guys are gang members in that circle. Its a very blurry line. Most those guys are trying to Rap and make money. Do they have enemies? yes. DeSean is one of the most watched Individuals on the Planet. Nobody is going to be doing anything Criminal in his presence. I sat next to his dad at high school football games. I once raced DeSean teasing him when he was 15. He plays Video games, he likes Music. He is not in a gang. Never. He is a rich Baller. a foot-baller. some lucky team will win a few games More, With him on Board.

  30. D-Jax is a professional athlete who will use the national stage to market his celebrity just like any other athlete who has that appeal. There is life after football that football resourced can provide funds to produce.

    He has the right to do all of his business in a legal and ethical way as any other business. He hasn’t shot, robbed, raped, swindled, killed or sold any drugs which are all gang related activities. Nobody can account for the lifestyles of the people that come into there association as to who is connected to who, but if there is a market to be explored with celebrity appeal the music industry is the hottest spot there is.

    His music label is open to rappers and the entertainment industry is full of illicit life styles especially gang connected drug selling stone cold killers.

    Let’s not forget the owner of a franchise that just got arrested on felony drug charges and loads of cash that he could have chipped into free agency for his team.

    If there’s anything to be concerned about other than the 10 million dollars and a long term contract, then connect the dots so that everybody can see the true picture instead of the rhetoric and suspicion posing as truth. It shouldn’t be too hard to find.

    Let’s get ready for football and let this talented baller do his thing on the field in Washington DC. Then all you haters can lick the wounds of your egoes that wanted him to fail because you can’t be him with his opportunity.

  31. I love the guy who posts that he should sue the eagles for Libel defamation. THE EAGLES HAVE NOT SAID ONE WORD. An investigative reporter did research and qutoed LAPD officers. After Aaron Hernandez the eagles decided it was not worth the risk. On top of that he was known for not working hard or showing up for meetings, hence why his now ex teammates have not backed him up after his release.

  32. He is a nice kid, with a huge ego, who goes through money like it’s going out style. Very talented, loner, doesn’t work at his craft, and his gangster life style lends itself to a short career. Will make big plays but won’t go near the middle of the field. Runs with a posse he supports, has no musical talent but has cut a record on his own label. All things being equal is a perfect Redskin.

  33. The BEagles suck as a team, and that arrrogant coach who thinks ANYBODY can succeed in his system is in for a rude awakening.

  34. Yes, and Serena Williams a Crip too. Remember she did the “Crip Walk” after she won the 2012 Olympic Gold Medal? Fanatical, sectarian louts.

  35. you mean he was young and dumb, never heard of anybody ever being that before…..i know my 18 year old son and 19 year old son know everything…just ask them…they will tell you so.

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