ESPN got a lot of airtime yesterday off a quote DeSean Jackson gave to their sideline reporter Lisa Salters prior to yesterday's game. Here is his quote with her context.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson told ESPN's Lisa Salters that he didn't give a full effort last season because he didn't want to get injured before signing a new contract.
When asked about instances when his effort was questioned, Jackson said: "I let it get to me, even though I tried not to let it. I was trying to protect myself from getting hurt -- now I'm just giving it all."
She asked him a similar question during the game and he mostly brushed it off and seemed to reject the idea that he wasn't giving max effort. And to be fair, that's not exactly what he said. He said he was trying to protect himself, not that he wasn't giving max effort. However, you could obviously say that if you're worrying about not getting injured, you're not fully focused on your job out there. So its really not that big of a stretch that was made by Salters.
But as is always the case with ESPN, it doesn't stop with the article. Every piece of news has to go through their ringer on every show and this was no different. By the time Keyshawn Johnson got ahold of it, DeSean was purposefully loafing to "hurt" the front office, but not to hurt his teammates. While Mike Ditka claimed that the $700k or so DeSean was making last year was "pretty good money" for a WR because "all they do is run routes and catch balls." The fact that they don't block is evidently what sets them apart from other guys, according to Ditka. Keyshawn Johnson stared at him as if he was speaking a different language.
There's no doubt that whatever DeSean meant by his quote, it was long gone by the time the Monday Night Countdown crew got a hold of it.
Either way, with a day to digest it, DeSean seems to have gotten a little angry about the light he was painted in.
The Media love twisting my damn words up .. An they always wondering why I don't wanna talk 2 they ass .. That shit is un - professional— Desean Jackson (@DeseanJackson10) August 21, 2012
Like I said yesterday, we all watched him last year. We know it affected him. And if he has a big year this season... we won't care. But overall, I don't really see how what he said was all that misrepresented by most media outlets I saw. I really can't think of another meaning in what he said...
All I'd say to him was, DeSean, if you're ready to move on from last year... then move on.