Alterraun Verner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers played Sunday’s game with a heavy heart after the death of his beloved father, Robert Lee Verner. The 61-year-old was Verner’s best friend but he sadly passed away the day after Thanksgiving.
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“My dad was my biggest fan,”Verner told reporters after the game. “He made so many sacrifices for me to get where I am today, and I just know that he wouldn’t want to be the cause for me not to play, so that’s why I decided to play. I wanted to honor him knowing all that he did to try to get me to where I am today.â€
So he suited up and stepped onto the field. During the second quarter, he made his first interception of the season. Then Verner collapsed to the ground.
His team surrounded him in support during the emotional moment and followed him back to the sidelines.
Verner’s tears were a bittersweet reminder of the importance of family.
Verner wore a t-shirt with a photo of him and his dad under his jersey during the game Sunday. It was his own little way of carrying his dad’s encouragement out on the field that day.
“One thing that I won’t ever forget about him was his smile, and that was one of my favorite smiles of his,”Verner said of his T-shirt, which his wife had made. “It’s just to show that he’s always with me and he’s always going to be with me every game. Every step of the way, off the field or on the field, because of the type of man he was, is what made me into the man I am today.â€
Though it’s incredibly difficult to lose a family member, it’s moments like this that help bring everything into perspective.
Check out the emotional moment here.
Share to honor his father’s memory.
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