THE FLATS – To honor the memory of Atlanta, sports and civil rights icon Hank Aaron, Georgia Tech football will temporarily retire Aaron’s jersey No. 44 for the 2021 season, head coach Geoff Collins announced on Saturday.
Tech football joins fellow Atlanta sports teams, including the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United, in announcing that no player will wear No. 44 during the upcoming campaign. The Atlanta Braves, the franchise that Aaron spent 21 seasons of his Hall of Fame career with, and the Atlanta Hawks have previously retired the No. 44 (the Braves in honor of Aaron and the Hawks in honor of Pete Maravich).
“For me personally and as a program that represents the great city of Atlanta, we are very saddened by the passing of Hank Aaron,” Collins said. “After reflecting on what he meant to our city, our nation and the world, we’re proud to join the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United in retiring the No. 44 for the upcoming season. In addition to honoring ‘Hammerin’ Hank’s’ memory, we’ll use the coming days and months as an opportunity to educate our student-athletes on the immeasurable impact that he made in our society, not only on the field, but in the civil rights movement in America.”
Junior linebacker Quez Jackson wore No. 44 for Georgia Tech football in 2020. He will be assigned a new jersey number in the near future.
Aaron died on Friday at the age of 86.
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