Incoming Georgia defensive tackle Jamaal Jarrett is one of the most highly-regarded young players joining next year’s team, with the school coming off winning the 2023 National Championship. He’s being counted on to be one of the Bulldogs’ leaders going forward, even as a freshman. However, he ran into a bit of a snag on his way to stardom last week.
The 6’5″, 330-pound young man drew backlash and negative attention for comments he made regarding Asians on his Instagram account during the NFL Draft‘s first round.
With the Atlanta Falcons about to make the eighth selection of the night, they sent up an Asian-American representative to deliver the announcement. It’s customary for teams to invite former stars, dignitaries, and fans to take part in their franchise’s festivities during the annual Draft bonanza.
Jamaal Jarrett was live-streaming at the time and implored to his TV screen: “Jalen Carter… come on, you Asian. Ching chong.”
The Falcons instead drafted Bijan Robinson, a running back, and Jalen Carter was eventually picked next by the Philadelphia Eagles. The footage quickly circulated on social media, with Jarrett’s ‘thejahjarrett’ verified Instagram handle clearly visible. The player would later verify that he was, indeed, the one who had made the offensive comment.
The comments also caught the attention of anti-defamation groups, including the Twitter account called Asian Crime Report. They tweeted: ‘This is unacceptable and disgusting’ and shared the clip in question.
In offering his apology, Jarrett also posted the following on social media:
“Recently I made racially insensitive remarks on my social media platform. I feel ashamed by my actions that have caused tremendous hurt and pain, especially to those in the AAPI community, and I truly do apologize. I did not mean any hate or harm towards anyone.
“Over the past several days I have learned more about the AAPI community and the increased hate crimes that have been directed towards members of the community. I have come to understand more clearly where I messed up and why this behavior was wrong.
“The type of language I used is harmful, and there is no place for it anywhere. I want to grow from this situation and make a more positive impact in the community. I am committed to representing myself better and showing that I am not the kind of person to make hurtful remarks.
“I cannot change the mistake that I made, but I can control what I do and say in the future and use this as an opportunity for growth. As we celebrate API Heritage Month, I plan to continue learning and talking with students and others on our campus and in Athens to learn how I can support the AAPI community.
“I promise I will learn from this mistake and do better.”
A four-star recruit from Greensboro, N.C., Jarrett is expected to be an impact defender for the Dawgs, even as a first-year player. And he should, with the kind of size he brings to the table.
So, with the most dominant college football team in the country just waiting for him… and the potential to earn millions in the NFL? It’s likely the young UGA star will choose his words more carefully going forward.
If not by himself, you can bet UGA will help him out in that department, so they can get this guy out on the field: