Published: 7:06 p.m. EDT, September 17, 2023 | Updated: 7:42 p.m. EDT, September 17, 2023
Bucs pass rusher Shaq Barrett dedicated his pick-six in Tampa Bay’s win over the Chicago Bears to his late 2-year-old daughter.
Barrett’s daughter Arrayah died April 30 after drowning in the family’s swimming pool.
According to the Tampa Police Department, police responded to a call of a child who had fallen into a pool around 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 30, in the Beach Park area of Tampa.
Arrayah Barrett, who celebrated her second birthday on April 19, was taken to hospital but attempts to save her life were unsuccessful.
The former Broncos linebacker blew a kiss into the sky after destroying the plane to secure the win.
Shaq Barrett dedicated his pick-six in Tampa’s win over the Bears to his late daughter
Two-year-old Arrayah drowned in the pool at her family home on April 30
“I told her, ‘I love you, miss you and wish she were here,’” Barrett said after the 27-17 win.
As of Sunday, Barrett had yet to score a touchdown in his outstanding nine-year NFL career.
According to the pass rusher, the first Sunday was viewed as divine intervention from God.
“I certainly think so,” Barrett said. “And then just talk, talk to God all the time.” All I know is that he doesn’t give us more than we can handle, even though it felt like he certainly did.
“He said he was just preparing us for something – I can’t say it better than that because what could be better than having my little girl here?”
“But He’s preparing us for something that we need, and I’m just ready for it and waiting for it.” And I’m going to believe in Him and certainly in this plan, and I feel like it was divine intervention, to put my little girl in the spotlight.”
Bucs coach Todd Bowles praised Barrett’s efforts and celebrated the moment during his press conference.
Barrett and his wife Jordanna also got Arrayah tattooed to honor her memory
Arrayah was the youngest of four children Barrett has with his wife Jordanna (pictured in April 2022)
‘It’s incredible. “You can’t even imagine going through something like that,” he said of Barrett.
“To see him go through it and come out the other side – and I’m sure he still has days – but to play the way he’s playing right now, to be where he is right now, it’s unbelievable. “
Despite Sunday’s joy for Barrett and his family – who were in attendance at Raymond James Stadium – there are still lingering issues, even before last week’s game in Minnesota.
“I had really big problems. “I couldn’t stop crying,” Barrett said. “I called my wife and the coaches asked about me. But then suddenly everything disappeared and I could concentrate on the game.
“My wife says people are praying for me. I actually felt like the wave of emotions just slide aside and I could actually concentrate. So I could feel the power of prayer.”
Last month, Barrett revealed the cause of the tragedy, saying the protective fence around the pool had been left open: “We always had gates closed, but we just left it open that night.”
If there’s any good news for Barrett, it’s that he and his wife Jordanna are expecting another daughter, Allanah Ray, in February.
He’s also channeling his grief into a new foundation, Arrayah Hope, which aims to prevent child drownings by offering free swimming lessons in the Tampa Bay area.