TAMPA — Shaquil Barrett is trying to prevent families from suffering a tragic drowning like the one that took the life of his 2-year-old daughter, Arrayah, in April.
The Bucs linebacker announced on Wednesday that he will be supporting the Arrayah Hope Foundation and Fifty50 Foundation Sunday as part of the NFL’s My Cause My Cleats campaign.
The initiative celebrates the positive impact players make in communities by highlighting relevant issues and causes on specially designed cleats throughout games during Weeks 13 and 14 of the season.
Barrett said he is working to raise awareness for water safety and to help provide families with equipment that may help prevent drownings, especially among children.
“Arrayah Hope is named after my daughter, and we’re working with gate companies who install gates for pools and the AI cameras that we have in our homes that we’re testing out to see if that can be a possible option,” Barrett said.
“But we need to just work on awareness, because I know everybody is always thinking, ‘It’s not going to be me and my kids.’ It happens. We just want to make people aware and super cautious, because we had precautions there.”
The artificial intelligence technology being developed senses the height of individuals, Barrett said, and if someone, such as a small child, is by the pool, it will sound an alarm.
”It comes to my phone, and it rings pretty loud and is connected to the camera that’s outside,” he said. “It tells you if someone is in the water, if someone is around the water, if there’s someone unassisted around the water, too.
“We’re trying to make people aware, because we have alarms on our door but I think you get a little complacent and turn the alarm off every time it rings and stuff like that. People need to be aware and think it can’t happen to them, and you don’t want to be that person. You always want to be sure you’re dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s.”
Barrett’s Fifty50 Foundation helps children in foster homes.
“My wife was in the system, and it can be a little broken when it comes down to adoption and foster kids,” he said. “We want kids to just worry about being kids and not have to worry about where they’re sleeping at night or if they’re going to have clothes or meals.”
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