If you’re a die-hard Detroit Lions fan, you’ve probably heard of last year’s incredible story of budding defender Derrick Barnes and longtime veteran offensive liner Andrew Whitworth. The story was first written by The Athletic, but Whitworth told the story during his acceptance speech for his Man of the Year award at Walter Payton in 2021.
Long story short, Whitworth noted that during last year’s Lions vs. Rams Barnes looked at him curiously. When the game finally ended, Barnes finally confronted Whitworth, letting him know they had both met a long time ago. Whitworth was then with Cincinnati Bengals and took a trip to the Boys and Girls Club to inspire the youth.
“He was always there every two weeks or so,” said Barnes The Athletic. “I remember when I was in school, boasting,” I know an NFL player. ” My dad and I watched the Bengali play every Sunday. ”
Now Barnes tries to provide his own inspiration and pass it on. This week the Lions defender returned to the same boys and girls club in Greater Cincinnati.
The Cincinnati-based WLWT has a complete history of Barnes’ travels, including a video and a short interview with the Lions linebacker.
“It’s crazy because I just go back to Whitworth because you know these kids see me and look at me just like I used to look at Whit, just a positive role model,” said Barnes.