The NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said Friday on Mike & Mike that his union will investigate whether the Philadelphia Eagles were involved in a smear campaign with wide receiver DeSean Jackson before releasing him.
“We’ve been in touch with DeSean, and first and foremost he is a tremendous football player and great young man,” Smith said, via ProFootballTalk. “On the issue of how he was released, whether or not there were comments or leaks from the team, misinformation to the media coming from the team, that’s something that we’re going to look at. We’ve always been aggressive about protecting the integrity of our players.”
Jackson was released shortly after an NJ.com story published that suggested Jackson had gang ties and quoted an anonymous Eagles source suggesting the Eagles were worried that Jackson could be a bad influence on young players.
Last week, Jackson denied any involvement with street gang members.
“I would like to address the misleading and unfounded reports that my release has anything to do with any affiliation that has been speculated surrounding the company I keep off of the field,” Jackson said in a statement. “I would like to make it very clear that I am not and never have been part of any gang. I am not a gang member and to speculate and assume that I am involved in such activity off the field is reckless and irresponsible. I work very hard on and off the field and I am a good person with good values.”