Last week football fans all over the country were stunned when the Philadelphia Eagles suddenly released Pro Bowl widereceiver DeSean Jackson. What was officially stated as noted in a recent article on NJ.com was DeSean had a ‘bad attitude, an inconsistent work ethic, missed meetings and lacked chemistry with head coach Chip Kelly‘. That was the public face of his release, what was going on underneath the surface was Jackson’s alleged ties to gangs in his native Los Angeles.
Gang ties is something Jackson has vehemently denied, but its something Professional Football has increasingly been concerned about. Over the past couple of years we seen a number of high-profile NFL players in serious violation of the law. Its ranged from DUIs to gun possession.
For example San Francisco 49er Pro Bowler Aldon Smith was arrested and charged with three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon after a stabbing at his house party in 2012. He’s currently awaiting trial. Former New England Patriot Pro Bowler Aaron Hernandez is currently in jail accused of several murders. It’s alleged he too had gang ties.
The NFL after meeting with top officials at the Justice Department have embarked on a campaign to clean house and publicly distance itself from anyone and anything that may suggest gangland affiliations. Some of these high-profile criminal cases have made key advertisers skittish and even more importantly many cities where the league is pushing for expansion teams, new stadiums and the hosting for future Superbowls are fearful pro football will attract ruthless street gangs. All the stops are being pulled out to protect the leagues image.
In addition to clamping down on players and working with the DOJ to make sure their tatoos or hand gestures are not rooted in gang culture, the league is taking the extra step to distance itself from entertainers, in particular Hip Hop that have associated themselves with certain players and certain teams.
Rod Francisco, assistant league spokesman, said they are developing a culture department that will vet artists, record labels and promoters who are attaching themselves to professional football to make sure they don’t have any gang ties. He noted the Rap industry is cesspool of dangerous criminal types that are bad for business.
In the upcoming 2014 season the league will do a total entertainment makeover by contracting artists who have clean record and wholesome image to record theme songs for various teams. Francisco said its a surefire way to shed the negative image attached to teams by gangster rappers and gangster activity. Music is the ultimate cleanser.
Francisco noted they were impressed with 4 time Grammy winner Macklemore. “He’s what the league is looking for in an entertainer. He’s a big hit with kids and he’s appealing to parents”, Francisco said. “He’s not out there catching cases or scaring potential sponsors with unsavory language.”
Macklemore is being tapped to do theme songs for the NY Giants, Chicago Bears, Houston Texans the and of course his home team the world champion Seattle Seahawks.
Long time journalist and die-hard Houston Texan fan Roland S Martin of TV One said he thinks the campaign is splendid and feels that his team will be inspired by a theme song penned by Macklemore. “Our image needs a facelift and artists like Macklemore bring the funk in a whole different way” said the veteran newsman.
Drake is another artist who the DOJ said has a clean record and wholesome image. He’s being tapped to do theme songs for the Dallas Cowboys, the New Orlean Saints and the San Franciso 49ers.
Francisco noted initially they were going to assign Macklemore to do a theme for the 49ers but they feared the intense rivalry between the two teams would be enhanced with a Seattle based rapper doing music for a San Francisco based team, so they assigned Drake.
Other artists approved to do team theme songs are the Black Eyed Peas and Young MC who wrote the hit single for Wild Thing for Tone Loc in the late 80s. The league is still soliciting rap artist who have clean images and catchy songs..
For any rap artist who is interested in penning a theme song for an NFL Team, reach out to Rod Francisco by filling out an application HERE