Jamaal Jarrett, a newly minted defensive lineman at the University of Georgia, apologized Wednesday for making fun of Asians in last month’s NFL draft.
“The kind of language I’ve used is harmful and there’s no room for that anywhere,” he wrote in one long statement on Twitter.
On April 27, Jarrett, a lineman with the reigning national champion, spring football list, watched as an Asian-American boy from the Big Brothers Big Sisters Kansas City prepared to announce the Atlanta Falcons’ pick for the first round. Jarrett cheered on the Falcons on Instagram Live for choosing fellow Bulldog Jalen Carter and was impatient with the announcement.
“Come on you Asians! Ching-chong!” said Jarrett.
The Falcons instead opted for University of Texas running back Bijan Robinson.
Jarrett’s remarks quickly became known. The university initially appeared to remain silent in the aftermath, perhaps hoping the incident would be over. A HuffPost request for comment was never answered.
“Recently I made racially insensitive comments on my social media platform,” reads Jarrett’s apology, in part. “I am ashamed of my actions which have caused tremendous pain and pain, especially to those who live there [Asian American and Pacific Islander] community, and I really apologize. I didn’t want to hate or hurt anyone.”
“Over the past few days, I’ve learned more about the AAPI community and the increasing hate crimes against members of the community,” he continued. “It has become clearer to me where I made mistakes and why this behavior was wrong.”
The University of Georgia’s football program, meanwhile, has been a source of controversy since the team won its second straight NCAA title last year.
January featured recruiter Chandler LeCroy and offensive lineman Devin Willock died in a car accident after a victory celebration. LeCroy was driving the crashed vehicle, with Willock as a passenger. Carter, who was picked No. 9 in the first round by the Philadelphia Eagles, later received a warrant for his arrest for allegedly driving into LeCroy’s vehicle and contributing to the accident. It is him and the university is now being sued by Willock’s father for $40 million.
Here is Jarrett’s full statement:
Rosie O’Donnell once received widespread criticism for repeatedly saying “Ching-Chong” in a crude mockery of spoken Chinese on The View.