NFL star Shaquil “Shaq” Barrett, who plays as an outside linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccanneers, married his high school sweetheart, Jordanna Barrett when the two were just teenagers. Having no formal white wedding the first time, they got married in a courtroom on February 2, 2012.
At the time, he was a sophomore at Colorado State University, and she was already nine months pregnant with their first child when they embarked on the next step of their lives together.
According to his loving wife, outside of being a phenomenal football player, Shaquil is a devoted and doting father who places their four kids, Shaquil Jr, Braylon, Aaliyah, and Arrayah Barrett, above everything else. Their children, who are his pride and joy, make up the composite of who he is as a person.
Jordanna found out she was pregnant with their firstborn son, Shaquil Jr., soon after her then-fiancé got the news that the University of Nebraska at Omaha would be ending its football program in 2011. She had just graduated from high school, and he had just completed his freshman round with the Mavericks when he decided to carry out his dream at Colorado State. Jordanna went along with him.
They lived very busy lives and had hectic schedules: Jordanna worked as a nanny from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and would only get a few hours of downtime at home. She would occasionally get to see her husband for one hour after his school day and football practice sessions were over.
Jordanna also worked at Taco John’s as a manager and would finish her shift at 1 a.m. and would only have a few hours of sleep before waking up for night feedings and starting her work day all over again.
Though he was primarily busy with school and advancing his football career, Shaquil would find an odd work shift here and there whenever he could. Additionally, in an effort to help lessen the load his wife was carrying, he would insist on helping her out with their children, Shaquil Jr and Braylon, who were the only kids born around that time.
After some time, they received help from friends. Bernard Blake, a former CSU cornerback, and his brother Eric Blake assisted Jordanna with babysitting, which freed her up to work in the mornings and go on the occasional date with her husband. Though their life back then was far from smooth sailing, they expressed having no regrets about the path they chose.
Shaquil Barrett’s Youngest Daughter Drowned at Their Home
One Sunday morning around 9:30 a.m. in May this year, the Barrett family experienced a devastating incident. The youngest of the family, baby Arrayah, tragically drowned in their pool at home when she was just two years old.
Though the Barrett family endured one of the most devastating losses when they lost their youngest baby, Jordanna recently announced some happy news.
Upon receiving a call that a child accidentally fell into a pool, authorities arrived at the scene. Baby Arrayah was transported to a local hospital where medical personnel performed all life-saving measures possible before she was sadly pronounced dead.
Regarding how the tragedy took place, authorities said that the investigation was still ongoing. They stated, “It is not believed to be suspicious in nature at this time, but a purely accidental and tragic incident.”
A screenshot of the home in South Tampa where baby Arrayah Barrett drowned posted on May, 2023 | Source: YouTube.com/10 Tampa Bay
To add insult to injury, days before her death, the Barrett family had just celebrated Arrayah’s second birthday on April 19. On the special day, her loving father took to Instagram to post a heartwarming tribute to her. In the post, an adorable Arrayah was seen rocking a pink tutu, and accompanying the cute photo was an endearing message from her dad:
“Happy 2nd bday to my cutie girl. So sweet and cute. You made our family complete, [and] I love you, baby girl.”
Shaquil Barrett Pays a Touching Tribute to His Late Daughter 3 Months after Her Tragic Death
In commemoration of his beloved little girl’s life, doting dad Shaquil paid a touching tribute to Arrayah three months following the tragedy by getting a tattoo of her adorably beautiful face on the inside of his forearm. The reference for the tattoo was the cute picture he had posted of her in her pink tutu on her birthday earlier this year, and the tattoo included some stars and clouds that framed her face.
The artwork was done by Tattoo Red, a famous tattoo artist who has been in business for 14 years and is known for tattooing an array of musicians and athletes. Red expressed his gratitude and humility for the Barrett family having chosen him to craft such a sentimental and personal piece, which came out incredibly well done.
Shaquil Barrett playing in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Philadelphia Eagles game in Philadelphia, 2021 | Source: Getty Images
Last month, the NFL linebacker posted an array of images and videos of his late baby girl and spoke about how much he and his family severely miss her. The tearjerking caption that went along with the carousel of media was as follows:
“I miss you, baby girl. I’m so glad we had the time that we had together, and wish we had more. I love you forever; you were everything and more for our family.”
Though the Barrett family endured one of the most devastating losses when they lost their youngest baby, Jordanna recently announced some happy news. The matriarch of the family revealed that she and her doting husband, Shaquil, are expecting another baby soon.
They all miss Arrayah deeply every day, but Jordanna believes that she will be a great big sister watching over her little sister, who will be named Allanah, as her guardian angel. Condolences continue to be sent to the bereaved family.