Jarrett Jack has made headlines for the right reasons in the past week and all a person can do is respect and appreciate what he is standing for.
You have to appreciate the fact that Jack received his degree in Business Management this past Saturday and did not let the NBA dollars cause him to lose sight of what is really important– getting his education.
Yeah his degree came 10 years after leaving The Flats for the NBA, but he still got it done and that is to be applauded.
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Jack was quoted in a newsday.com article by Roderick Boone as saying:
“It’s just something that I want to share with my family. That’s a personal achievement, family achievement, that I would accept for myself and am able to achieve, and I want to be there for that moment. I don’t want to let that moment go by. It’s going to be probably the most special moment, if not the biggest moment, of my life. That and getting drafted, they kind of align from my perspective.”
Getting his degree fulfills a promise that he made to his mother Louise Jack when he decided to forego his junior in 2005 to play pro ball.
Teammate Joe Johnson was impressed with Jarrett Jack’s accomplishment and said this in the same newsday.com article:
“I think that’s pretty big for him. That’s probably something that he really had focused on and really wanted to do, so I’m happy for him. Not a lot of guys get a chance to do it, especially after you turn pro. So that’s a big accomplishment.”
It is a big accomplishment and people need to get the message out to a lot of these athletes that when you have your money you should still go and get your education, that is to be commended.
Another thing that should be commended is taking a social stand for what is viewed as an injustice. Jack made a social statement before the Brooklyn Nets took on the Cleveland Cavaliers by wearing an “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirt during warm-ups in protest to the decision made by a New York grand jury to not indict officers for the coroner decided “murder of Eric Gardner”.
Also according to a usatoday.com article “he helped put the collective gesture together” by handing out t-shirts to six other players including Cleveland’s LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.
(Photo: Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY Sports)
Jack after the game talked about how he went about organizing this demonstration with James and Irving in that usatoday.com article by Chris Strauss:
“I reached out to some people in his camp that I’m cool with. Definitely when they were coming into our arena, when you’re on the road you don’t have access to certain things that you might at home. I just wanted those other guys in the locker room to band together with us and be a part of the statement that we put out there on the court today.”
Deron William, Alan Anderson and Kevin Garnett also wore the t-shirt provided by Jack for the game and the reasoning that Jack gave for wearing the shirts and taking a stand is quite admirable:
“When you believe in something and you stand up for something, you believe in whatever comes with it as well. That’s the thing people knew going into it and we understood it. If (a fine) comes our way, it does. If not, that’s it. Some things are worth more than the monetary value of it, so to speak. I applaud the guys who did it. We were on the same page as far as how we felt. We felt strongly about it and just wanted to go out there and take a stance.”
Some things are worth more than monetary value, and in this life standing up for principle beliefs an getting an education are worth more than gold.
Jarrett Jack is setting an example for youth who are paying attention to him. Learning and standing up for beliefs are important to being a contributing member of society.
Even the way he was able to organize with opposing players to make a collective stand is honorable.
Getting a degree and trying to influence social change all in the same week is accomplishing a whole lot.
This message needs to get out to people that being educated and taking a stand is what it is truly going to take to make the kind of impactful change that must be made in our society.
Thank you Jarrett Jack for being an example for both causes.