“The type of language I used is harmful, and there is no place for it anywhere,” he wrote in a lengthy statement on Twitter.
On April 27, Jarrett, a lineman on the defending national champions’ spring football roster, watched as an Asian American boy from Big Brothers Big Sisters Kansas City prepared to announce the Atlanta Falcons’ first-round pick. Jarrett cheered for the Falcons on Instagram Live to choose fellow Bulldog Jalen Carter and was impatient for the announcement.
“C’mon, you Asian! Ching-chong!” Jarrett said.
Georgia DT Jamaal Jarrett streamed some racially insensitive remarks on IG live on draft night… Yikes. pic.twitter.com/mTfbSxgzTV
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) April 30, 2023
The Falcons chose University of Texas running back Bijan Robinson instead.
Jarrett’s remarks went viral. The university initially appeared to lay low in the aftermath, perhaps hoping the incident would blow over. A HuffPost request for comment was never answered.
“Recently I made racially insensitive remarks on my social media platform,” Jarrett’s apology reads in part. “I feel ashamed by my actions that have caused tremendous hurt and pain, especially to those in the [Asian American and Pacific Islander] 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,” he went on. “I have come to understand more clearly where I messed up and why this behavior was wrong.”
Jamaal Jarrett made a racist remark while he was cheering on a fellow Georgia Bulldog in last month's NFL draft.
The University of Georgia football program, meanwhile, has swirled in controversy since the team won its second straight NCAA title last year.
In January, recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy and offensive lineman Devin Willock were killed in a car accident after a victory celebration. LeCroy was driving the vehicle that crashed, with Willock as a passenger. Carter, who was drafted No. 9 in the first round by the Philadelphia Eagles, was later issued an arrest warrant for allegedly racing against LeCroy’s vehicle and contributing to the wreck. He and the university are now being sued by Willock’s father for $40 million.
Here is Jarrett’s statement in full:
Rosie O’Donnell once earned widespread criticism for repeatedly saying “ching-chong” in a coarse mockery of spoken Chinese on “The View.”