Nomination Withdrawn

November 17, 2017

Last week, a Springfield (Mass.) Public Schools committee announced that it would withdraw its nomination of Desi Jackson to the Athletic Hall of Fame, in response to protests over Jackson's status a a convicted sex offender.

According to masslive.com, Jackson, who led Springfield to the basketball state championships in 1991, was one of 30 former athletes who had been nominated. During the nomination process, a local parent wrote to The Republican to criticize the decision to nominate Jackson.

"This sends a message to the students and the community that playing basketball, even in high school, is more important than sexual assault," the parent wrote in the letter.

Jackson's conviction record includes indecent assault and battery in 1994, rape and abuse of a child in 1995, and assault and battery in 2004. He is registered as a Level 3 sex offender with the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board, the classification given to those most likely to reoffend.

Mike Martin, Athletic Director at Springfield, said that in the future, he and others responsible for considering Hall of Fame nominees would not solely consider their achievements in their respective sports.

"Moving forward, this committee will consider adding provisions to our nomination process to include considerations that go beyond athletic achievements," he said.

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