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Hue Jackson remains in Cleveland, committed to foundation

Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 07: Head coach Hue Jackson of the Cleveland Browns before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 7, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

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Hue Jackson is not “coach” Hue Jackson for the first time in 32 years.

“I don’t think anybody understands the human side of these things,” Jackson told Pat McManamon of ESPN. “I think people think, ‘OK, the guy’s gone and you go on.’ It’s hurtful. It’s painful. But you have to find a way to channel that.”

Jackson, fired by the Browns after going 3-36-1 in 2 1/2 seasons, worked as a special assistant for the Bengals in the final seven games of last season. He interviewed for the head coaching job of the Bengals and the offensive coordinator job with the Cardinals.

But Jackson now finds himself with “down time” he’s never previously had.

That doesn’t mean he has nothing to do.

Jackson has kept his home in Cleveland and remains heavily involved in his foundation, which he established in 2017 to help victims of human trafficking.

“This is something we’re committed to, and it’s dear and near to us,” said Jackson, whose wife, Michelle, also is involved in the Hue Jackson Foundation. “We’re going to continue to fight this battle.”

The foundation, along with the Salvation Army, opened a 12-bed residence near downtown Cleveland last summer. It has provided 1,100 nights of service -- seven women with beds provided in one night is seven nights of service -- thus far.

Harvard University recently informed Jackson it was honoring him with its 2019 Global Health Catalyst Mental Humanitarian Award on May 25 at a banquet in Cambridge, Massachusetts, per McManamon.

“People can’t separate the two -- football and life. So be it,” Jackson said. “I’m going to continue to pull this rope.”