NFL Linebacker Shaq Barrett Makes First Comments Since Losing Daughter in Tragic Drowning Accident

Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Shaq Barrett is speaking out for the first time since losing his daughter in a drowning accident last month – less than two weeks after celebrating her 2nd birthday. The incident occurred on April 30 when the little girl fell into the family’s swimming pool and couldn’t be saved.

On May 10, Barrett took to his Instagram and posted a video of him and his baby girl, who was sitting on his lap as they blew kisses to her mother. “I miss you sooo much baby girl. I love you please watch over us #TGBTG,” he wrote in the caption – the comments section was filled with thoughts and prayers. 

It was Barrett’s first Instagram post in three weeks. Prior to the video, his last post was on April 19 to wish his baby girl a happy birthday. “Happy 2nd bday to my cutie girl. So sweet and cute. You made our family complete. I love you baby girl #TGBTG #BIG2,” he wrote – adding several photos of his daughter.

On May 11, just one day after posting the heartbreaking video, Shaq Barrett shared a statement from his family – which was coupled with a photo of his family. He and his wife, Jordanna Barrett, share four children together – Shaquil Jr., Braylon, Aaliyah, and Arrayah (who died in the drowning accident). 

“I am typing this out because the amount has been astonishing and there is just no way to possibly get a thank you to each and every one of you. But not a single card, note, prayer, or thought has gone unnoticed,” he wrote – adding a special thank you for the prayers, thoughts, meals, flowers, and gifts. 

He described this experience as the ‘hardest couple weeks of our lives’ and said his family wouldn’t be able to get through it without the incredible support they’ve received from the community. He can’t help but feel warmed by the fact that his daughter’s story has touched so many people around the world. 

“We feel love from everywhere and that wouldn’t be possible without you all,” he continued. “Our Arrayah sunshine was and is our world and knowing she has touched so many lives is so heartwarming. Thank you will never be enough but from the deepest of our hearts. Thank you. May God bless you.”

When Shaq Barrett posted that video of him and his daughter blowing kisses to her mother, he was met with a resounding amount of love and support in the comments section – including a comment from his wife. We love you forever and ever babygirl. Until we meet again my baby!” Jordanna Barrett wrote.

Dozens of his teammates and fellow NFL players added their support in the comments – including wide receiver Mike Evans, quarterback Tom Brady, safety Antoine Winfield Jr., quarterback Jameis Winston, wide receiver Breshad Perriman, linebacker Bud Dupree, and running back LeSean McCoy

He also received comments from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – who released a statement after news of the death went viral. “While no words can provide true comfort at a time such as this, we offer our support and love as they begin to process this very profound loss of their beloved Arrayah,” the team wrote. 

Shaquil Barrett went undrafted in the 2014 NFL Draft but signed with the Denver Broncos as a free agent. He made his NFL debut in 2015, but didn’t become a full-time starter until joining the Bucs in 2019 – the same year he had a career-high 19.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss. He’s a two-time Pro Bowler.