Injury Calls For the Making of a New Friendship

FAMU defensive back, Braxton Brown and 4-year-old Journi Colbert.

Florida A&M University (FAMU) football player Braxton Brown, who plays defensive back was injured on October 31 during the last home football game of the season against North Carolina A&T.

He was rushed off the field by Tallahassee Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to the hospital. Unaware of Brown’s injury, 4-year-old Journi Colbert, was terrified for Brown’s state of health. Her attitude was different for the remainder of the game.

His injury affected the mood of the stadium, especially 4-year-old Journi Colbert.

Immediately after Brown was hit he lost feeling on the left side of his body. He recalled hearing the voice of his mother telling him she was right by his side, which left him at ease.

Talia Colbert, the mother of Journi, hoped the Marching 100 would enlighten her daughter, but she could not focus on anything else but Brown.

Colbert’s mother assured her Brown would be fine, but Journi continued to ask about him days after. Talia Colbert decided to contact Brown on Facebook asking him to call Journi.  

At first Brown was hesitant to reach out to Journi, unsure of what to say. It was after seeking the advice of his brother-in-law that he decided to respond to her request.

Colbert only asked for a call, but Brown decided to set up a play date with Journi at her school.

He asked Journi if she remembered him and she did. Journi responded, “Yes, you were the one on the ground.” She even called out his name “Jackson Brown.”

In a burst of laughter, Brown told her that his name was not Jackson but Braxton Brown. She was happy to see that Brown was fine and they both enjoyed a play date at her school.

The impact of his injury on this 4-year-old left Brown at a lost for words. Brown said meeting Journi caused him to have a “softer heart.”

“It was a learning experience, and if it’s something you love, then you’ll do what you have to do for it,” he said.

Talia Colbert said, “He will never know how special this moment was to Journi and our family. It was an awesome experience and I appreciate this young man.”

Angel Miller, a second-year FAMU political science student from Jacksonville, Fla., said that she was impressed by the actions of Brown because it is rare to hear athletes invest their time in something other than practice.

“I was proud of Braxton for defeating the stereotype of football players,” Miller said. “It shows that athletes aren’t just athletes. Behind the helmets and pads, they are caring individuals as well.”

The Colbert family is thankful for Brown’s actions and they continue to pray for his recovery and success for the Rattler football team.

The situation with Journi Colbert changed the way Brown viewed his position on the field and in life.

“It taught me to always be on my Ps and Qs because someone is always watching,” Brown said. “To always show respect and stay true to one’s character. Most importantly, take into consideration those who are rooting for you.”