On Now
Coming Up
  • Sat., Mar. 03, 2018 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM EST Cheerleader Tryouts Become a member of the best cheerleading program in the NFL! Tryouts for the 2018 Baltimore Ravens Cheerleading Squad will be held the weekend of March 3rd at the Merritt Club Downtown.
  • Sat., Mar. 10, 2018 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM EST Playmaker Tryouts The Playmakers are the Ravens promotional team that travels around Baltimore on the days leading up to Ravens home games. At each event they attend, they give out free gifts and tickets to Ravens fans, getting them excited for the upcoming game. Become a member and help get Baltimore ready for gameday!
  • Sat., Mar. 24, 2018 8:45 AM - 3:00 PM EDT Marching Band Tryouts Come join us and become part of the best marching band in the NFL! Baltimore's Marching Ravens are committed to bringing quality musical entertainment and a "traditional football atmosphere" to all Ravens home games. Comprised of more than 150 musicians and equipment crew, Baltimore's Marching Ravens is the largest musical organization associated with the NFL.
  • Thu., Apr. 26, 2018 8:00 PM EDT NFL Draft Follow the Baltimore Ravens through the 2018 NFL Draft.
  • Thu., May. 31, 2018 5:00 PM EDT Beach Bash Flock to the Beach with the Ravens for our annual Ravens Beach Bash presented by Miller Lite.

News

Print
RSS

Inspirational Athlete With Cerebral Palsy Visits Ravens

Posted Aug 21, 2014

Ben Jackson, a 21-year-old power lifter, broke the team huddle with a message of hard work.

“Cerebral palsy has never looked so good.”

That’s what was on the T-shirt Ben Jackson wore to meet the Ravens at practice.

Talk about a confident young man.

Jackson, 21, has spastic cerebral palsy, but he hasn’t let that limit him as an athlete or everyday human being. He’s using it to be an inspiration for others – including the Ravens.

Jackson visited the Under Armour Performance Center on Thursday. He had lunch with Harbaugh, hung out with players in the locker room and broke the huddle at the end of practice. Afterwards, he chatted with Owner Steve Bisciotti, quarterback Joe Flacco, Senior Advisor to Player Development O.J. Brigance, who is battling ALS, among others.

“It was pretty nerve-wracking, but then you realize they’re just people like you and me,” Jackson said. “They might be a little faster, a little stronger, but they’re just people.”

Despite his physical limitations, Jackson was a wrestler in high school. He continued his education at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pa., but the school doesn’t have a wrestling program.

That’s when Jackson shifted gears and decided to become a power lifter. He’s training to become a 2016 Paralympian. Jackson was bench pressing 45 pounds in January and is now up to 200.

“We’re not setting a number to reach,” Jackson said, referring to him and his trainer. “We’re just continuing to work as hard as we can. We know what the record is, but I’m just keeping that in the back of my mind. At the end of the day, we want to smash every record.”

Harbaugh saw a Gatorade commercial featuring Jackson and showed it to his players during a team meeting. Harbaugh also encouraged reporters to go meet Jackson.

“We had a real special guest here,” Harbaugh said. “What he does every day to accomplish the things he’s doing has inspired our football team. It was just a great visit from a great young man.”

Jackson talked to the team about hard work. That’s all he’s ever known.

“Take every 24 hours and crush it,” Jackson said to the players.

“In the wrestling room, they teach you about hard work and dedication. They focus on becoming the very best athlete that you can be. Now I’m taking that same drive, motivation and desire to the bench press.”

Jackson said his visit was “surreal,” but just another step towards spreading his message of persistence.

“[Being here today] just means anything is possible. You could motivate the guys down the road or some of the best athletes in the world,” Jackson said.

“The Baltimore Ravens definitely now have a place in my heart.”

Watch Jackson’s Gatorade commercial here (mobile users click “View in browser” above):

Please Note

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

Related News

Recent Videos

Recent Photos

Save