While I do not typically have a strong opinion on the dealings of athletes, the story of DeSean Jackson is one of particular interest. Jackson, an NFL player and 3 time Pro Bowler, was recently released from the Philadelphia Eagles for reportedly having ties to a gang and associating with accused criminals. The LAPD, in which we all know to be one of the largest gangs in the nation, has disrupted this young man’s career with the Eagles, all because he knew a suspect in a crime.
Not only did they question Jackson to see whether he had any knowledge of the accused’s actions, but they also gave a “courtesy” call to the Philadelphia Eagles, to let them know of Jackson’s ties to an “alleged killer”. Were there any connections to Jackson and the actual murder? No. I thought that in this country everyone was innocent until proven guilty. Which begs the question, what was DeSean Jackson actually guilty of? Was he guilty for coming from a part of town that is economically and socially oppressed? Was he guilty that his friends also came from that part of the town? Or perhaps his guilt came from the opinion that by location of his birth, Jackson’s very essence is a personification of the gang activities that is known to plague some Los Angeles communities, thus he is a responsible party.
Last, but not least, Jackson could be guilty for not buying into the age old theme of “making it” , which for many black people means that must forget where they came from, and the people as well. I am not my brother’s keeper. Maybe the police thought that they could intimidate Jackson into incriminating his friend for a murder that he very well may know nothing about. Either way, it seemed to me that they were on a witch-hunt and out to ruin this young man’s career and reputation. To further exasperate the situation, his friend that was accused of the murder was acquitted of the charge. But now Jackson is the one burning on the stake. I understand that this topic is very loaded and I am only touching the surface. I have not even begun to speak on why the Eagles did not defend their player or the double standards in professional sports when it comes to punishing white versus black players. However, this situation simply speaks to the greater society in which we live in and it shows that just because you are a millionaire, if you are black, you can still be targeted. Good luck to DeSean Jackson and his contract with the Washington Redskins. For further commentary check out Richard Sherman’s comments on the matter.