Former Marine Wen Jones showed his true character in his defense of 14-year-old Zion Wright against three attackers last May in Florida. Samaritan Jones, 43, happened upon the three men bulling Wright and went to Wright’s rescue. Jones was knocked unconscious and sent to the hospital with a broken eye bone and multiple stitches across his face.
A true hero, Wen used his courage, competitiveness and athletic ability (and Marine combat knowledge) to defend Wright. Is Jones’ defense of a 14-year-old boy as important as the major sports’ victories we see on TV each week? My answer is yes.
The original intent in sports (and the USA Marines) is to develop strong character and teamwork. As a screenwriter I must have my script’s characters making decisions because true character is defined by decisions under pressure. Wen Jones happened upon injustice, and immediately showed his true character.
Would the top athletes in football, baseball, basketball, or hockey have sacrificed themselves to defend Zion Wright as Wen Jones did? I hope so. Sports fans appreciate defense. Football fans adore a defense that stops the opposition’s run or pass; basketball fans love a blocked shot; baseball fans worship a pitcher who strikes out the opposition; hockey fans revere a goalie who scores a shutout; tennis fans admire a player who can defend the toughest serve. Sports fans love an athlete who sacrifices and gives every bit of his or her soul when pursuing victory. Wen Jones was victorious defending a 14-year-old boy. So please tell me, where does Wen’s defense of Zion Wright rate with the aforementioned sports fans?
As each of us think about Wen’s rating, please stop and consider: suppose that was your son or daughter that Jones defended. Wen would have gotten bigger exposure if he’d defended the son or daughter of: Tom Brady, Alex Rodriquez, LeBron James, Serena Williams, or Sidney Crosby. Shouldn’t Wen Jones’ defense of Zion Wright rate up there with the aforementioned athletes’ sports’ highlights?
All three suspects in the assault were caught and charged with aggravated battery, charges that were upgraded to felonies because Jones’ injuries were so severe.
Athletes’ media interviews are of major importance as their personalities are displayed, allowing and helping the public to decide just what type of character they are. Wen Jones waited until his horrible wounds had healed before impressing the media, assuring all that “It was worth it. It was not a situation I could just walk past. It was the right thing to do.”
What a positive example Wen Jones has displayed to North America and elsewhere. If we all understand and agree that true character is defined by decisions under pressure, we will make better and stronger decisions in the future.