No one would have criticized Kwon Alexander if he had chosen not to play following the murder of his brother, but the rookie NFL linebacker ran out onto the field anyway and had the game of his life.
Alexander registered a team-high 11 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday en route to a thrilling overtime win against the Atlanta Falcons.
Alexander's performance came just two days after his younger brother was shot and killed during a fight that occurred near the siblings' hometown of Anniston, Alabama.
I cant believe u gone lil bro @Brod_Taylor Ima hold it down tho man! Just watch over me man I love you man ! Wish I could've took u with me — Alexander the Great (@Showtime17Kwon) October 31, 2015
Of his performance, Alexander said,
It's been hard, man. He was my little brother, but I know he'd want me to be strong for him, and I came out here and dedicated this game to him. [I was] very determined because [he] wanted me to do it. All he wanted me to do is ball, so dedicated it to him.
After the game, the Bucs' locker room congratulated Alexander on his performance and proceeded to give him the recognition he was due during an emotional rallying cry.
But, of course, Alexander saved the most recognition for his fallen brother.
This one was for you lil soldier ! I love you baby boy! #RIHLILBROD pic.twitter.com/bpJ8cbFLSt — Alexander the Great (@Showtime17Kwon) November 1, 2015