Newly acquired Washington Redskins receiver DeSean Jackson admits that yes, he knows some gang members, but that doesn’t mean he’s a member or affiliated with a gang.
The heart of the speculation around Jackson’s gang ties centers around Theron Shakir, one of two men charged with the murder of a 14-year-old, who police say was killed for flashing a rival gang sign at Shakir and another man, according to a NJ.com report.
“I actually got a chance to hear about [the NJ.com report] before it came out,” Jackson said in interview Friday with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith. “Got a call before it came out. My agent called. How do I feel about NJ.com? From my point of view, it was very disrespectful. I don’t think it was right — straight up.”
Smith asked Jackson if he hangs out with gang members: “Not if they’re doing negative things,” DeSean said, adding that gangs were products of the environment in which he grew up and that he witnessed “things” on a daily basis.
“Do I know people who are involved? Yes,” he said. “I’m definitely aware of and know certain gang members.”
“But as far as being affiliated, never have been in one. I’ve always felt I’ve been a product of my environment, but I’ve always felt I’ve wanted to do things the right way.”