The Sports Brothers

4/10/2014, 9 a.m.
What a crazy past few weeks it has been in the NFL and this is the offseason. The Philadelphia Eagles ...

What a crazy past few weeks it has been in the NFL and this is the offseason. The Philadelphia Eagles released arguably the game's most explosive wide receiver in DeSean Jackson. The Eagles cited various concerns about Jackson including conduct detrimental to the team, skipping or being late to meetings — painting a picture of a player that was all about himself. Then there were the concerns of alleged gang ties that dominated the


Ed Freeman

headlines. League video shows Jackson flashed gang signs during a game against the Washington Redskins last season and from what we know that is a major no no from the gang culture. These were some real concerns and finally Eagles’ Coach Chip Kelly decided he had seen enough and that Jackson was not worth the headache. Jackson wasted little time in finding a new team as he signed with rival Washington Redskins setting up a most interesting scenario. There was widespread reaction throughout the sports world. The questions raged on: Did the Eagles engage in a smear campaign to validate their actions? Thats’s a very good question since the Eagles had already realized that Jackson’s trade value was dropping quicker than Ja Rule's hip-hop career, and they may have leaked their worries about his possible gang ties to NJ.com to give them an excuse for a sure to be furious fan base. How else could they explain releasing their best receiver who just had the most productive season of his career? So it seems, the “gang ties” could be a very convenient excuse rather than the major reason, something the NFLPA is taking a close look at.

Richard Sherman wrote a very interesting column for MMQB in which he questions the way the media


Jeff Fox

portrayed Jackson compared to the way Colts owner Jim Irsay was covered for his recent troubles. Seriously, this kid may have a future as a writer or better yet an attorney. Among Sherman's questions were the difference in the way the media went after alleged crime ties of a Black athlete versus a white man in a suit. Does he have a point? Commit certain crimes in this league and be a certain color and you get help, not scorn, he noted. Look at the way many in the media wrote about Jim Irsay after his DUI arrest. Nobody suggested the Colts owner had “ties” to drug trafficking, even though he was caught driving with controlled substances (prescription pills) and $29,000 in cash to do who-knows-what with. Instead, poor billionaire Mr. Irsay needs help, some wrote."

Circumstantial evidence suggests that Irsay’s illegal possession of painkillers lends itself to speculation that he may have been making a purchase of some sort with some street pharmacist. The point is the man had $29,000 in cash on him. I doubt he was headed to Walmart. What if Jackson or any other NFL player got busted with that much cash and drugs? They would have been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion and been in the doghouse of league commissioner Roger Goodell without a doubt. Not Irsay, however. What is the difference? So Irsay gets sympathy from the media: ‘poor Jim needs help.’ Eagles player Riley Cooper drops n-word bombs on video and is sent to counseling by the team. Finally DeSean Jackson may not have won a locker room popularity contest, but he did win the Eagles a lot of games with his production on the field. He got no sympathy, he got no counseling. Basically he got fired.