Browns coach Hue Jackson fulfills promise, takes Lake Erie swim

Owner Dee Haslam and 150 team employees join Jackson to raise $30k for foundation

Daryl Ruiter
June 01, 2018 - 1:47 pm
Browns head coach Hue Jackson along with his wife, daughter, Browns owner Dee Haslam and 150 team employees run into Lake Erie on June 1, 2018.

Daryl Ruiter-92.3 The Fan

Categories: 

Bay Village, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Hue Jackson made a splash Friday afternoon fulfilling a promise he made in January 2017.

Joined by 150 Browns employees, including owner Dee Haslam, Jackson took his long-awaited dip into Lake Erie after he declared following the 1-15 2016 campaign, “We are not going 1-15 (again). No, or I’ll be swimming in the lake over there somewhere. That is not happening.”

The Browns went 0-16 instead and so Jackson made good on his word.

"The page is turned," Jackson said after coming out of the water. 

Jackson ran in with Mrs. Haslam, his wife, Michelle, and daughter, Haydyn, by his side.

"It was refreshing, but it was cold," Jackson said.

After diving in head first Jackson almost lost his shorts as he came up for air. He then raised his arms triumphantly in the air and shouted, "No more freaking losing" as employees started splashing him with water and cheering. 

Seeing so many employees join him meant a lot to Jackson and caused him to get a little emotional before they hit the water. 

"I did because I know I affect what they do," Jackson said. "Those people have been with me every single day. When I walk through, and you lose a game, and you lose as many games as we have, and you keep parking your car and walking in the building and have to see those faces each and every day, I carry them with me. I carry them, their families and this city with me contrary to what anyone believes.

"It's on me. I wear it, every day. They didn’t have to come here. They didn't have to support this. I made the statement and they said, 'No, I want to do this' and I'm thankful they did."

In a mere matter of 90 seconds Jackson hopes that he washed away not just 2 years of frustration and humiliation for himself, but 19 years of pure football misery that has hovered over Cleveland's beloved football team since it's return in 1999.

"I know our fans have been very disappointed, but that page is closed," Jackson said. "Hopefully it'll give us a chance to earn back their respect, their trust, their affection for our football teamand this city because we plan on doing something special.

"We're not going to talk about it. We're just going to work." 

Jackson called the event a “cleansing” for himself and the franchise, which has reached new depths of football ineptitude having gone 1-31 the last 2 seasons and an NFL-record 4-44 over the last 3.

"No more promises," Jackson said. "I'm not doing that anymore."

Jackson donated $100 for every team employee that joined in the plunge to his foundation, The Hue Jackson Foundation, whose mission is to fight human trafficking. The Haslam's matched the donation bringing the total raised on Friday to $30,000.

Jackson and his foundation also teamed up with a local t-shirt company to produce an official shirt for the event that went on sale Friday, the proceeds of which will go to the foundation.