Kareem Jackson -- First Cockfighting and Now....
While the NFL's work stoppage has fans (and several players needing a cash influx) a little bit nervous that we may not see football start on time this fall, there has been a silver lining in players' being banned from the teams' facilities.
The work stoppage, which has included cancellation of all Organized Team Activities and team-run "voluntary" workouts, has given players time to travel, see their families and, for some, partake in charitable endeavors. Dolphin wide receiver Davone Bess traveled to Costa Rica to volunteer on several manual labor projects like building homes and digging ditches. Bronco safety David Bruton has been substitute teaching in his hometown in Ohio.
Texan cornerback Kareem Jackson's idea of "productive" clearly appears to be different from that of Bess and Bruton.
At least it's got a classy name.
To be fair, I don't know what all of Jackson's work stoppage activities have entailed. He may have spent 99 percent of his time helping old ladies cross the street and rescuing flood victims in the Midwest. If that's the case, then my apologies in advance.
I do know that for a small percentage of the time, though, back in March Jackson was tweeting photos of cockfighting from the Dominican Republic. While that competitive activity is actually legal in that part of the world (I believe they even call the event Kareem was at "March Madness"), it's illegal in the United States. So if you're Kareem Jackson, tweeting pictures from that event is not a great way to accomplish either of the following:
1. Gain favor with the Texans' organization, especially after they just paid him first round money to watch seemingly every third-string wide receiver on the schedule torch him for their respective "best days of the season."
2. Win a public relations battle for the trust and love of the fans, most of whom don't trust him to find the stadium on Sunday mornings, let alone lock down NFL wide receivers.
After the Twitter controversy simmered down, Jackson appeared to do the smartest thing he'd done in a while -- he disappeared. Until this morning, that is, when news broke that Kareem Jackson was depicted on a poster (along with four other NFL players) as "hosts" for a launch party of a porn convention in Miami back on May 20, the "Porn Star Exxxtravaganza" (because any time porn is involved and a word has the letter "x," you must automatically make it three x's -- most iPhones are programmed to autocheck this).
So after wading through the initial wave of obvious "Kareem's next cock fighting event" jokes (most of which were awesome and completely encouraged), we are left to ask the following questions:
1. Did Kareem Jackson knowingly attach his name to this event? As of my typing this, we have not heard from Jackson. These things we do know:
-- Chiefs safety Eric Berry, through his agent, has already come out and said that his likeness never should have been used on the poster and that he was not even at the event. Others reportedly involved in the promotion of the event, like Charger first rounder Corey Liuget, have declined comment.
-- The league is looking into the use of the players for promotional purposes, especially since the poster included pictures of them in uniform, which means the NFL is probably going to unleash hell, fire and brimstone on the organizers, the likes of which they haven't seen since the last Peter North group scene.
-- This has nothing to do with Jackson, but I just want to point out that the porn stars promoting the party are named Jamie Valentine, Trina Michaels, Kim Kennedy, Bella Reese and Blondie Boom. Yes, Blondie Boom. I'm guessing that's not her real name.
2. So let's pretend Jackson was unaware he was being used to promote the party. Why would you use Kareem Jackson, of all people, if you're an organizer? Well, as an organizer, you would have to be somewhat fearful of the NFL stepping in, but on the off chance you're trying to fly under the radar, wouldn't it be logical to use the worst player in the NFL last season? And do the people at a porn convention even care if Kareem Jackson was a laughingstock? He's an NFL player, that's all the "porn people" know. So he gives you the best chance of arousing very little suspicion from the league while still being able to tout your having "a former first round pick" at your party.
Of course, this doesn't explain their using Eric Berry, one of the top safeties in the league as a rookie and Pro Bowler. The porn peeps may have gotten a bit greedy on that one.
3. So let's pretend Jackson did not only promote the event, but happily attended it as well. Did he do anything wrong?
Much like his cockfighting escapades in the Dominican, Jackson would not have done anything legally wrong if indeed he promoted and attended this porn festival. Hell, truth be told, there are many of us who might even be a little jealous. The best party most of us will host is our fantasy football draft in September with a bunch of fat, sweaty dudes. Advantage Jackson.
But the problem for Kareem Jackson is, like the cockfighting pictures, this isn't about societal legality -- it's about "Texan legality." My guess is people in Kansas City, if Eric Berry were actually promoting this event, would forgive their guy after about eight seconds. Why? Four interceptions, 92 tackles, one Pro Bowl.
Here in Houston, Kareem Jackson would face the wrath of:
-- Texan fans ("Hey Kareem, how about doing something productive during the lockout?) -- Gary Kubiak ("Why can't you be a good kid like the rest of the good kids and instead of going to battles and fights and battlefights involving cocks, you battlefight on the field on Sundays?) -- Rick Smith ("Please God, let J.J. Watt break my streak of dysfunctional first round draft choices...please....) -- Bob McNair ("Kareem, this is the most perverse ox I've ever seen in a ditch ever!")
Why would Jackson get heat? Seyi Ajirotutu. Four catches, 111 yards, two touchdowns. That's why. (And truth be told, there are about ten more wide receivers for whom Kareem personally opened the floodgates last season that I could list here.)
So until we find out if Jackson really was involved in the event, we may be rushing to judgment. I mean, while many porn stars have hearts of gold, is it out of the realm of possibility to think that promoters of porn events would lie about NFL players' hosting their marquee party? (Actually, "Is it even in the realm of possibility to think they're being truthful about it?" is an equally legitimate question.)
One thing we can probably all agree on -- the lockout needs to end and soon so that Kareem Jackson can begin digging out of the rubble of the 2010 season. All of this time on his hands doesn't appear to suit him very well.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.
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