Jordanna Barrett, the wife of Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Shaquil Barrett, spoke out for the first time on Wednesday since the couple’s two-year-old daughter drowned in a swimming pool on Sunday.
Officers responded to a Beach Park home in Tampa at 9:30 a.m. after a child had fallen into a pool, the Tampa Police Department said. The child was taken to an area hospital but could not be revived and was pronounced dead shortly after, authorities said.
It was a tragic accident and no foul play was involved, according to police.
“Thank you all for all the messages, flowers, thoughts and prayers,” Barrett wrote in an Instagram post.
“Our world will never be the same. Arrayah was the apple of my eye, and my heart will forever be with hers. I love you so much my baby. I am so so sorry. Until we see each other again, please watch over your siblings and momma and dada. We love you forever and ever and always.
“I can’t wait to see that precious smile again, and just hug you so close. I would do absolutely anything. There is no Barrett 6 without you, and we will forever hold your place down here, until we all meet again in heaven. I love you forever and always.”
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Buccaneers defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers called the death a “tragedy” and offered support to the Barrett family.
“Our hearts go out to Shaq and his family,” said Rodgers. “We want to give him as much support as we can because that’s just something you don’t have the words to express … what Shaq means for us as a player and a person.”
A private funeral service will be held for Arrayah, the youngest of the four Barrett children, on Friday.
The 30-year-old Barrett has played nine seasons in the NFL. He entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Colorado State and played his first five years with the Denver Broncos, winning the Super Bowl in 2015.
He signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019 and was a part of the Buccaneers’ Super Bowl winning team in 2021.