Jason Witten The Role Model
Gritty, tough, dedicated, spiritual, generous, loyal, humanitarian. An incredible father to his own four kids, and a role model to so many.
As Jason Witten retires again today, most of the news will center around his 17-years in the NFL and signing a 1-day contract with the Dallas Cowboys to end his career where it started. But this NFL great is so much more than that. He is a bonafide hero.
“A coach once told me, ‘The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example,'” Witten told ESPN. “As I hang it up, I walk away knowing that for 17 seasons I gave it my absolute all. I am proud of my accomplishments as a football player on the field and the example I tried to set off of it.”
One of the most respected players in the league, Witten incredibly missed only 1-game in his 17-year career while earning him the title of one of the top tight ends in NFL History. As an 11-time Pro Bowler, Jason’s on-field work is undeniable, but it’s his off-the-field work that makes him most exceptional. Not just as an incredible father to his 4-kids, but because he has changed the course for his own life and so many others.
As a young man, Jason’s Mom and brothers were terrorized by their father.
“It impacted my childhood a lot. You never knew which Dad was going to come home, you’d hope it was the Dad you love, but too often it was somebody you wished would never come back”. Eventually, it did end. When Jason was 11, his mom moved the family away to the safety of his grandparents’ home who would become some of the most influential people in Jason’s life.
But that time left an indelible mark that Jason has spent his lifetime helping others escape from.
His foundation, SCORE has worked tirelessly with local communities and shelters placing full-time male mentors throughout Texas to help kids suffering the effects of domestic violence. The foundation has also created several prevention programs and donated to many Boys and Girls Clubs in Texas. The league and his peers recognized Jason when in 2012 he became the first NFL player to receive both the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award and the Bart Starr Award, Humanitarian of the Year Award.
“My support in stopping domestic violence is unwavering. And as a professional athlete, I believe big strong physical men who have the national spotlight that’s our platform, that’s our duty to speak out.”
So at your dinner table tonight, if Witten’s retirement comes up, bring up the kind of man he is, along with his career 1228 catches and 74 touchdowns.
ESPN E:60 about Jason and his life.
Be The Change You Wish To See, Jason gives youth sports athletes advice during Covid.