Regarding gang affiliation, DeShawn Jackson said the following statement. It may be difficult, at first, to know if he is denying current affiliation, or past affiliation, yet his answer seems to affirm both past affiliation and present, which begs the question:
Given the nature of gangs, is "past affiliation" possible?
First is the denial with analysis, followed by the reply of NJ.com where the article originated.
“No, it’s not true. Honestly, where I was raised and where I grew up at, that’s the product of an environment. … The things I witnessed, the things I saw on a daily basis, kind of surrounded me around that. Do I know friends that are out there involved? Yes. I try to, you know, stay away from them. I don’t try to intervene and do things of any nature that has anything to do with negative activities, but I’m definitely aware and know certain gang members. But as far as me being affiliated, or me being a gang member, never not have once been. Never had any affiliation of going out and doing things that is against the law. I always felt that I’m a product of my environment, but at the same time, I’m the guy that wants to go out there and do things the right way.”
1. "No, it's not true" is a strong denial, but what, exactly, is he denying? Current affiliation? Formal affiliation? Past affiliation? He immediately brings his denial and credibility into question with:
2. "Honestly" which is a word signaling that there are times when he is not honest, and here, he uses it for emphasis. We note when this word arises, and when it does not.
3. He was "surrounded" which means, on all sides. This appears to be a way of justifying his affiliation. He does not make us wait long to understand what it meant to be "surrounded" by gang affiliation:
Note that there were things he "witnessed" but also things he "saw"; which is different. To "witness" things is to not participate. he "saw" other things. It would have been interesting if the Interviewer had asked him about the difference. The change of language should represent a change in reality.
4. "Friends" and not "people" or "guys"; which brings familiar association. He does not simple know those who are in a gang, but they are his "friends" and here, he does not disown, nor insult them, reducing them in any way, but instead affirms his present relationship with gang members as "friends."
5. He uses the word "try" He makes an effort to "stay away" from them, in the present tense. He does not say he is successful, so we cannot say it for him. It is only an effort that he can bring himself to say.
6. He doesn't "try" to intervene, reported in the negative, in gang issues. This means he may interfere, only he does not try to. This is similar to trying to stay away from friends.
7. "but" often refutes, or minimizes that which preceded it; confirming involvement in some form.
8. "Never" is not only unreliable, but it is with the dropped pronoun, "I" which is the most practiced (and efficient) word in the English language.
9. Note that he cannot bring himself to even say he "never" had a gang affiliation but only of "going out and doing things" which is softening language.
10. "felt" is to blame his gang affiliation on his environment, howbeit weakly and:
11. "wants" is not to say he is the guy who goes out and does right, but that only he "wants" to be that guy.
He does not give a reliable denial about gang affiliation, instead affirming his association.
There is much wrong with the Interviewer, who does not appear to have training in interviewing, and information is missed repeatedly. He used the 3rd person to address the subject. The interview was in response to a NJ article and the Interviewer misrepresented the article.
A response from NJ.com:
"In the story, Los Angeles police said there was no evidence Jackson was in a gang, but that they believed he was associated with reputed gang members, and police were troubled that Jackson was flashing gang signs on social media and in NFL games. (When the story was published, the NFL said it would look into whether Jackson was flashing gang signs, which would be grounds for discipline.)
LAPD Detective Eric Crosson said in the story: "You don't want to see anybody throwing up gang signs like he did in the Redskins game last year. Those were neighborhood Crip gang signs and he flashed them during a game. He may not be affiliated with the gang, but they don't [ordinarily] take kindly to those not in the gang throwing up those gang signs."
During the interview, Smith said, "You are not associated, or do not hang out, with any gang members."
Jackson, however, admitted during the interview that he associates with gang members, just not when they're doing "negative things." Jackson tried to make the distinction of hanging out with gang members as individuals while not being affiliated with their gangs.
"Do I know friends that are out there involved (in gang activities)? Yes," Jackson told ESPN on Friday. "I try to stay away from them. ... I'm definitely aware and know certain gang members, but as far as me being affiliated and me being a gang member, never not have once been. Never have had any affiliation with going out and doing things that are against the law."
Later, when addressing the gang signs, he said, "... if you see signs or if you see me in pictures with affiliated gang members or whatever the case may be, that sign I am throwing up is to connect me with me and my boys," he said.
Smith implied the story about Jackson's alleged gang ties was leaked by the Eagles to NJ.com.
The conspiracy theories surrounding the story are comical. NJ.com uncovered Jackson's ties to alleged gang members through its own reporting. The Eagles played no part in NJ.com's investigation. When asked about Jackson's alleged gang ties, team officials said they were unaware of the ties and would not comment.
The NFLPA says it will look into whether the Eagles engaged in a smear campaign. When a union official contacted NJ.com sports director Kevin Manahan, the official was told the Eagles provided no information on Jackson's alleged gang ties.
During the ESPN interview, Jackson said he knew about the story a few days before its publication -- because NJ.com reached out to his representatives for comment and to speak with Jackson. But Jackson was not made available, and his publicist's sole comment was to deny Jackson was in a gang, an accusation the story never made.
DeSean Jackson said he has missed "one meeting" in his career
According to what's already been reported, that's likely not true. Jackson was suspended for missing a meeting in 2011, and skipped an exit interview with Kelly at the end of this past season. That's two.
In addition, an Eagles source told NJ.com two weeks ago that Jackson missed multiple meetings last season.
CBS Sports reported Friday that Jackson hasn't been a model employee.
Jackson said he distanced himself from Theron Shakir, his friend and a rapper who performed for Jackson's music label, while Shakir was on trial for murder.
"Through the process, and the time where (Theron Shakir) was in jail, I kind of had to almost step back," Jackson said during the ESPN interview. "Because I'm a professional athlete. I know the ties of being around, or being seen, or making calls, or doing all that stuff that could easily make me be apart of it," Jackson said.
Jackson's instagram account, however, told a different story. Jackson posted a picture of Shakir during the trial, pleading for his release.
After the NJ.com story was published, Jackson deleted all photos of Shakir and him from his account, as well as other photos shown in the NJ.com reporting.