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Saquon Barkley, NFL Star Running Back, Pays Respect to Kobe Bryant with His NFL Honors Attire

Saquon Barkley wearing his Kobe Bryant tribute jacket

"I wanted to respect Kobe and pay my respects to Kobe. Everyone who knows me well knows how much Kobe meant to me." - Saquon Barkley

LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, February 6, 2020 / -- Saquon Barkley was in attendance for the NFL Honors ceremony in Miami, Florida, on Saturday, February 1, 2020. The annual NFL Honors took place and is an event in which the league recognizes various on-field contributions from the past year. It includes the NFL Most Valuable Player Award. Last year, Barkley, the second-year player attended the event, winning the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, the Pepsi Rookie of the Year, and the FedEx Ground Player of the Year. For the event, wearing a Los Angeles Lakers sweater, the Giants running back walked the red carpet in which he explained was a reference to the late Kobe Bryant.

"I wanted to respect Kobe and pay my respects to Kobe," Barkley told Bleacher Report. "Jack Hamilton, the guy who made this, it's actually an original jacket from 2000 year when he won an NBA championship. You know me well, and everyone who knows me well knows how much Kobe meant to me. My people were able to pull some strings for me. It's sad to see him go, but not only with tonight do I want to represent him, but I also want to pay my respects with the rest of my career."

Barkley told reporters for Super Bowl LIV in Miami earlier this week how much of an inspiration Bryant was in his life, and he reiterated that again on Saturday, despite the fact that he never had the chance to meet him in person.

"I would probably just be annoying him, cause I would ask him a lot of questions. There are so many things that I wanted to ask him," said Barkley. "Obviously, it's easy to say now that I would say thank you, but I also want to say thank you because, not to take anything away from my parents, but he really had a big impact on how I became today, and the player I am today, and the man I hope to be."

Like Bryant, Barkley is a ' girl dad, ' a trendy hashtag lately, following Elle Duncan's ESPN story about Bryant's love for his four daughters. With Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna both sadly passing away in a helicopter crash last Sunday, Barkley explained that being a ' Girl Dad ' means all to him.

"I know everyone is saying 'Girl Dad' and that's why it definitely hit a little harder for me," Barkley said. "You know my little girl Jada. When that happened, I just wanted to pick up the phone and call Jada and let her know I love her, because this life is too short. You've got to take advantage of the opportunities that you have."

Aurora DeRose
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