Richard Sherman on why professional athletes often keep friends from the "old neighborhood."

I’m not going to tell you that DeSean Jackson isn’t in a gang, because I can’t say unequivocally that he isn’t. I can’t tell you whether his friends have done the things police have accused them of doing, because I wasn’t there. I can’t tell you what DeSean does with his time, because we play football on opposite ends of the country. I can only tell you that I believe him to be a good person, and if you think, say or write otherwise without knowing the man, you’re in the wrong.

And if it’s true the Eagles terminated his contract in part because they grew afraid of his alleged “gang ties,” then they did something worse. [Editor’s note: Jackson has agreed to terms with the Redskins.]

I look at those words—gang ties—and I think about all the players I’ve met in the NFL and all of us who come from inner-city neighborhoods like mine in Los Angeles, and I wonder how many of us could honestly say we’re not friends with guys doing the wrong things. I can’t.

Read it at MMQB.