An unspeakable loss. Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Shaquil Barrett‘s 2-year-old daughter, Arrayah, died after drowning in the family’s swimming pool.
The Tampa Bay Times reported on Sunday, April 30, that officers arrived at the NFL athlete’s home shortly before 9:30 a.m. local time in response to a child falling into a pool. The toddler was transported to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead after efforts to revive her were unsuccessful.
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“Today’s tragic news is heartbreaking for all members of the Buccaneers family,” read a statement from the Florida team shared via Twitter on Sunday. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Shaq, Jordanna and the entire Barrett family during this unimaginably difficult time.”
The message continued: “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.”
According to The Associated Press, an investigation into the little one’s death is ongoing. “It is not believed to be suspicious in nature at this time, but a purely accidental and tragic incident,” a police report obtained by the outlet states.
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The linebacker and his wife, Jordanna Barrett, have not publicly addressed their family’s loss. The couple, who were high school sweethearts, tied the knot in February 2012. They share children Shaquil Jr., Braylon and Aaliyah.
Shaquil celebrated Arrayah’s birthday weeks before her death. “Happy 2nd bday to my cutie girl. So sweet and cute,” he captioned an Instagram slideshow on April 19. “You made our family complete. I love you baby girl😘😘 #TGBTG #BIG2.”
The comments section has since been filled with condolences from fans and fellow athletes. Former Dallas Cowboys player Marcus Spears commented, “My condolences to your family my man !!! I can’t imagine but sending love and light ! Rest well little princess 🙏🏾🙏🏾.”
Singer Granger Smith wrote, “Love you brother.” (The “If the Boot Fits” artist and his wife, Amber Smith, lost their son River Kelly in a similar drowning accident in 2019.)
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Shaquil and Jordanna welcomed their youngest daughter two months after the Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2021 Super Bowl. He was signed by the team as a free agent in 2019, leading the league with 19.5 sacks.
The Maryland native spent the first four seasons of his career with the Denver Broncos. He is currently recovering from a torn Achilles, an injury that left him unable to play for the second half of the 2022 season.
Earlier this year, Shaquil and his wife celebrated 11 years of marriage. “Happy Anniversary sweetheart. Love the people we’re growing into together. I’m glad you came into my life 😘😘 #TGBTG #11YearsMarried,” he captioned an Instagram tribute to his spouse in February.
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