April 30, 2023 changed the lives of the Barrett family forever. It was on this day that two-year-old Arrayah, daughter of Tampa Bay Buccaneers Shaquil Barrett and his wife Jordanna, died after drowning in the family’s swimming pool. In an interview with ESPN, the linebacker got candid with the news outlet saying that it has been a “daily battle” since his daughter’s death.

Photo Credit: Shaquil Barrett Instagram

“This is a daily battle. Tough battle. Today I felt it heavier today than I did the last couple days.” Barrett told ESPN. “Her smile — I just miss her so much. Her energy, just like putting her to bed every night, reading stories. She just brought so much brightness and wholeness and completeness to our lives. And we most definitely have a big, big, big, big, big hole in our hearts and our lives that we won’t be able to fill.”


The 30-year-old father reminisced in the interview about last season’s 8-week Achilles injury that gave him a blessing disguise as he got to “spend all the extra time” with Arrayah.

“I’m not happy I got hurt, but I’m happy that I was able to spend all that extra time well from being hurt last year. So it, like … in hindsight, I’m looking back, I’m glad I was able to have that extra time with her so I could have more bonding time and experiences with her.”

Photo Credit: Shaquil Barrett Instagram

Barrett’s little angel will never be far from her father’s thoughts. Recently, the NFL star got a tattoo of his daughter on his right forearm. He explained to ESPN that she is surrounded by stars because of one of his favorite memories, reading Deb Gruelle and Gabi Murphy’s “Ten Little Stars” before bed.

“Every time we would read, she’d be like ‘Star, star’ in just the cutest voice, and she would call the moon ‘stars’ too,” Barrett recalled. “But she loved her stars. It was everything.”

To provide proper swimming education/instruction for children in the Tampa area, with hopes of nation-wide expansion, Barrett and his wife started a foundation called “Arrayah Hope”.

According to statistics, between 2019 and 2021, 788 children under the age of 14 died in pools nationwide. Florida was the top state that had the highest number of pool-related child fatalities with 147.

In addition to Arrayah, the Barrett’s share three additional children: daughter Aaliyah, 8, and sons Braylon, 10, and Shaquil Jr., 11. The couple recently broke the news that they are expecting another child, due in February 2024. The new addition to the family will be another daughter who they plan to name, Allanah Ray.


Photo Credit(s)/Featured Image: Shaquil Barrett Instagram; Jordanna Barrett Instagram

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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