Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson appeared in an ESPN interview with Stephen A. Smith on Friday night in an attempt to “clear up everything” regarding Jackson’s release from the team last week.
The interview gave Jackson the opportunity to give his viewpoint on being released by the Eagles and a chance to open up about his alleged affiliation with the Crips street gang.
Smith had the opportunity to hammer Jackson and ask him some tough questions, but he kept the questions open ended. Jackson said that Chip Kelly called him personally to tell him he was released, but didn’t give him an explanation why.
“The conversation I had with Chip Kelly was a deep, personal conversation,” Jackson told Stephen A. Smith in an interview that aired Friday on ESPN. “But at the same time, when he called me, it was basically, ‘We’re moving forward. I think it’s best for the team. I think it’s best for you.’ And I was sitting there, waiting for a reason why, but that’s basically all I can really say from the conversation. … ‘We’ll let you negotiate with 31 other teams.’
“The first time he told me, I wanted to hear what he was going to say, so I was waiting, waiting and waiting, so he came back with the same reason, so it was more of going in a new direction. He felt it was best for me and best for him. That’s kind of where we left it. I got off the phone. I was like, ‘You sure? That’s it?’ We hung up, and that was it.”
Stephen A. didn’t ask Jackson about his interactions good or bad with Chip Kelly, nor did Smith address reports of Jackson cursing Kelly out on numerous occasions.
Smith addressed the allegations that were revealed in a NJ.com report about Jackson’s gang ties in Los Angeles and his relationship with Theron Shakir. Shakir was one of two men charged with the murder of a 14-year-old, who police said was shot for flashing a rival gang sign to Shakir and another man. When asked about Shakir, Jackson told Stephen A that it was a touchy topic because he and Shakir grew up together.
“It’s an allegation once again,” he told Smith. “We’re dealing with someone who has an opinion. How much truth to that opinion is real? I don’t live my life and go out there really worrying about what people say. I try to do things the right way and try to be a professional.
“Have I always been perfect? Have I always done things the right way? Have I found out a better way of doing things? Yes. â¦ I had to learn I’m not perfect. No one is. But at the end of the day, I’m going to learn how to do it the right way.”
Jackson said he took a step back from Shakir because he is a professional athlete. He said he had no connection to the incident because he was participating in football related activities n 2009, when the killing occurred.
A Friday report by CBS Philly said Jackson becames an a problematic and unliked presence in the Eagles’ facility for different reasons. According to multiple sources close to the team, Jackson was blatantly insubordinate, known for throwing temper tantrums and had “(cussed) out Kelly several times in front of the team.”
Jackson of course denied the report.
Jackson canceled an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show for the opportunity to get interviewed by someone he felt comfortable around. Smith took it easy on Jackson, who for his part, blew the opportunity to get public sentiment behind him. Only time will tell which DeSean Jackson will arrive in D.C., but I hope he learned his lesson.