Lamar Jackson on social media: ‘Free Travis Rudolph’

Baltimore Ravens QB shows support for former Florida State, NFL receiver charged with murder
Published: May. 30, 2023 at 11:31 AM EDT
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Baltimore Ravens quarterback Travis Rudolph has publicly shown his support on social media for former Florida State and NFL wide receiver Travis Rudolph.

Rudolph, 27, is currently on trial for the April 2021 fatal shooting of Sebastien Jean-Jacques in Lake Park. The former Seminoles star is charged with one count of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted first-degree murder.

Jackson, who played high school football in Boynton Beach and competed against Rudolph in college, pledged his support for Rudolph with a simple tweet Monday night: "Free Travis Rudolph."

Rudolph has been out of jail on house arrest since last year after he unsuccessfully sought a "stand your ground" defense.

Defense attorney Heidi Perlet attempted to portray Rudolph's ex-girlfriend, Dominique Jones, as the instigator, claiming she was "jealous" of Rudolph's professional football career and "angry" with him after reading his text messages with another woman.

Jones testified during the trial that Rudolph became confrontational after she took his phone and wouldn't let her leave. But Perlet focused on a text message that Jones sent to her brother about Rudolph shortly before the shooting.

"Isn't the moral of the story is that you sent your brother and your friends to go kill Travis?" Perlet asked Jones.

"No, the moral of the story is him putting his hands on me," she said. "That is really the basis of everything, and I didn't send my brothers to kill him."

"No, you just sent a text to go 'shoot up his s---,' right?" Perlet said.

Dominique Jones is cross-examined by defense attorney Heidi Perlet on the second day of...
Dominique Jones is cross-examined by defense attorney Heidi Perlet on the second day of testimony in the murder trial of former Florida State and NFL wide receiver Travis Rudolph, May 25, 2023, at the Palm Beach County Courthouse in downtown West Palm Beach, Fla.

"I didn't say shoot him," Jones answered.

When asked to explain what she meant by her text message, Jones said it was "nothing violent toward a person."

"I was upset and my adrenaline was running and I said something that I didn't mean," Jones said.

She went on to say that she "didn't necessarily mean for anything to happen to Travis, his family, his house or anything."

Jean-Jacques fled after the shooting and was later found fatally wounded in the front passenger seat of a car in West Palm Beach. The driver and back seat passenger were also in the car, but they were uninjured.

Another victim was found with gunshot wounds in Lake Park.

Jackson was 1-1 against Rudolph in college while playing for Louisville, where he won the Heisman Trophy in 2016.

While Jackson went on to become a first-round draft pick for the Ravens in 2018, Rudolph left Florida State early and went undrafted in 2017.

Florida State wide receiver Travis Rudolph turns upfield after a reception in the second half...
Florida State wide receiver Travis Rudolph turns upfield after a reception in the second half of a game against Wake Forest, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, in Tallahassee, Fla.

Although he wasn't drafted, Rudolph signed with the New York Giants in 2017 and spent two seasons with the team. He was on the Miami Dolphins practice squad in 2018 but tore an ACL on his first day of workouts and never played in the NFL again.

He signed with the Canadian Football League's Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2020, but the team released him after his arrest.

Jackson is not the first NFL star to show his support for Rudolph. Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, who was a teammate of Rudolph's at Florida State, posed for a photograph with Rudolph in an April 2022 Instagram post, shortly after Rudolph was released on house arrest. The photo included the hashtag "UsNeverThem."

Rudolph's murder trial was expected to conclude later this week.

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