Jalen Hurts is the latest star to grace the cover of ESSENCE and he’s doing so in highest paid panty-melter fashion.
On Monday, ESSENCE unveiled their May/June Men’s Issue cover featuring the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback.
Fans across the country adore Jalen for the powerhouse that he is both on and off the football field, and now, his first-ever cover story lets readers see another side to him.
In the interview penned by Danyel Smith, Hurts sheds light on the emotional sides of his career path as a professional football player and the powerful Black women in his life.
This story also comes on the same day as huge news for the NFL star, who agreed to terms of a 5-year extension worth $255 million with the Philadelphia Eagles. With this deal, Jalen Hurts is the highest-paid player in NFL history on a per-year basis. His deal was also negotiated by a Black woman, NFL agent Nicole Lynn of Klutch Sports Group.
“I always knew what I’d be,” he told ESSENCE about his career aspirations. “As a kid, I always knew. I never knew how I’d get there, but I always knew what I wanted.”
Elsewhere in his interview, Hurts opened up about the role Black women play in his life, reminding people that while he did not grow up in church, there are other ways to find faith.
“I love me some Granny Cindy,” Hurts says of his grandmother. “She’s the staple in my spirituality. She’s always the one like, ‘Ask God for what you want. Ask God for what you need. He knows, but it’s okay to say it in prayer.’ ”
He also gushed over his mother, Pamela Hurts, who modeled for him how to, as he says, “get it out the mud, because she’s had to get it out the mud for herself.”
Jalen recalled being a freshman in college when his mother, a special education teacher, saw colleagues being laid off and decided she had to find a way to reinvent herself.
“She went back to school, and she got her master’s to become a counselor,” he explained. “That’s a living testimony for me.”
— ESSENCE (@Essence) April 17, 2023
You can read Jalen Hurts’ full cover story with ESSENCE here.
Photographed by Myesha Evon Gardner
Styling by Matthew Henson
Barber: Berto Martin at CUTANDTRIM
Nails by Yukie Miyakawa using Chanel at See Management
Set Design by Jenny Correa
Tailor: Shirlee Idzakovich
Photography Assistants: Ashley Markle and Mouhamadou “Fallou” Seck
Digitech: Edward Pages
Stylist Assistants: Hannah Norman and Chardonnay Taylor
Set Design Assistant: Andy Merrow
Dog: Toddie the Great Dane at All Creatures Great and Small
Photography Direction: Michael Quinn
Production by The Morrison Group