Tomlinson defends criticism that he ‘sold out’ taking job with Chargers

LaDainian Tomlinson will always be a Charger, regardless where the team is located - he hopes fans can understand that.

After taking a position as special assistant to Los Angeles Chargers owner Dean Spanos this week, Tomlinson has received criticism that he "sold out" by sticking with the team after it left San Diego.

Tomlinson, known for his relaxed personality, responded to that criticism Friday.

"That's so strange to me," Tomlinson told the Darren Smith Show of Mighty 1090, according to Pro Football Talk's Michael Gehlken. "I think people, in general, they try to pin one against the other. I don't think that's fair at all. For one, I'm not a person who hates. I'm not a person that can stay angry at someone. I'm quick to forgive; maybe that's a fault of mine.

"I'm not the type of person to say, 'Well, I played for the San Diego Chargers, and I'm not going to support the organization anymore.' I don't work like that. I'm not built like that."

The 2017 Hall of Fame inductee spent nine years of his career with the Chargers in San Diego. While he eventually went on to record-breaking success with the team, he remembers a time where his career was not so bright, which only made his connection to the team stronger.

"There was a time early in my career where we weren't very good in San Diego," recounted Tomlinson. "I had opportunities to say, 'You know what? I don’t believe in the organization, the city. I don't think we’re going to get a stadium. I don't think we’re going to win. I'm going to get out of here.'

"I could've done that, but me, being the type of person I am, I wanted to stay there because I'm loyal to a fault. I was loyal to San Diego ... So how can I sit here and say, 'Oh, I played for San Diego, but forget about the brand; forget about the Chargers?'"

Copyright © 2017 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.