DeSean Jackson said in his first interview since being cut by the Eagles that he’s happy to be in Washington, disappointed by the way things ended in Philadelphia, and adamant that he is not in a gang.
Jackson told Stephen A. Smith on ESPN that he was stunned that the Eagles let him go after his Pro Bowl 2013 season.
“I was definitely hurt,” Jackson said. “It was a humbling experience. . . . But it’s a business. It’s the NFL.”
In Washington, Jackson said, he believes he can thrive.
“I’m feeling great about it,” Jackson said. “I’m very stoked.”
Asked about the NJ.com story saying Jackson had gang ties, Jackson said he was disappointed by the story.
“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.”
As he has before, Jackson insisted that he is not a member of 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.”
Jackson said he thinks he’s been a good role model for children growing up in the same area of Southern California where he grew up.
“I’m trying to tell little kids to stay away from these things, not do drugs, not do violence, stay in school, listen to their parents, make it to college,” Jackson said.
Jackson seems hurt not just that he lost his job in Philadelphia, but that his reputation took a hit for reasons that he feels are unfair.