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Three Cheers for Jeter, On the Field and Off


We’ve had a great deal of negative news regarding the bad behavior of celebrity athletes recently, particularly from the NFL. Especially in light of this constant stream of bad news, this interview between Matt Lauer and Yankees star shortstop Derek Jeter is particularly refreshing.

Jeter, never one for the tabloid press, despite being an eligible, wealthy, and handsome bachelor during his entire tenure on the Yankees, sheepishly refused to discuss his romantic life, as he always has. Save an early relationship with singer Mariah Carey, Jeter’s relationships have rarely made it into Page Six, a local gossip page in the New York Post.

Why has Jeter always stayed on the straight and narrow? He told Lauer, “I’ve always been very cautious with what I do. I started at a young age and I’ve always had the mentality that I never wanted to embarrass my parents. That fear is still there.”

This is what results from a strong and intact family unit when children are raised to respect, love, and cherish their parents. In an interview aired on 60 Minutes in 2005 Jeter explained,

Every year from the time he was a kid until he graduated high school, Derek had to sign a contract drawn up by his father. He would be permitted to play baseball only if he complied with all 18 clauses, including “no arguing,” “no alcohol and drugs,” and “respect girls.”

This is how parenting is done, and when it’s done well, the world and parents are rewarded with someone with the strength of character like Derek Jeter.

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