Eagles’ Jackson in Hot Water
Homophobia in sports is a topic we’ve covered a lot lately – thanks to many professonal players and teams that have actually come out in support of anti-bullying initiatives. We thought Philadelphia Eagles’ DeSean Jackson was one of the good guys, especially after he showed up on The View earlier this year to talk to Nadin Khoury, a Philly middle schooler who was bullied – and whose beating was captured on video. Jackson surprised the young man with a signed jersey – and even better – his support against bullying incidents like these that send shock waves around the country.
Recently, however, the pro baller sent his own shock ways after responding to a question on SiriusXM Radio with a homophobic rant.
He’s since reversed his stance for the outburst, saying, “In a recent radio interview a caller got really confrontational with me. I got very heated with the caller, took it a bit too far and did not mean to offend anybody. I meant no disrespect and a better choice of words was needed.” But he never really apologized.
Instead, Jackson also took to Twitter to explain himself with a few messages like these:
“WANNA BRING ME DOWN BUT IM OK!! THEY TRYIN KNOCC ME OFF BUT IM STILL ON (sic)!!”
“THEY LOOKN 2 TAKE YA DOWN AT ALL TIMES NO MATTER HOW POSITIVE AND WHAT U DO!! ITS ALWAYS AWAY THEY TRY TO GET YA … IM STANDIN TALL (sic).”
All caps or not, no one is more responsible for the backlash against Jackson right now than Jackson. Like anyone in the spotlight, he has a lot of power with his words – especially among young fans who emulate him on and off the field. And by perpetuating this macho, anti-gay attitude, he does more damage than he can ever imagine. It takes a lot more than sending upbeat tweets to undo what’s been done.
This weekend, Jackson seemed to have a change of art, tweeting: “I am sorry for using words that I know to be hurtful and unacceptable in a recent radio interview.”
He also wrote: “I have made a mistake and would like to make it clear that words I use meant no disrespect to the Gay and Lesbian community. Intolerance is unacceptable and I apologize to anyone I have offended.”
It would be interesting to hear what Jackson would have to say now to bullied kids like Khoury, especially since many of the bullies out there are using this same language as he used on the show in what might be described as a fit of rage.
For the record, we’re not the only ones taking exception to what Jackson had to say recently. A columnist for CBS Sports, Mike Freeman, admitted that while Jackson is a hard worker with a good heart and smart man, he’s also “a wanna-be tough guy and part-tume chump. A showboat. A homophobe…”
That’s not mincing words either.
Here’s a clip from the radio show (definitely not safe for work):