Tarik Cohen has endured a lot in his life. It took so much time, effort, and hard work to overcome the stigma that he was so short and could never play professional football. He obviously proved them all wrong, claiming All-Pro honors in 2018 as a punt returner. Yet nothing could’ve prepared him for what happened back home in North Carolina.

Cohen had planned to go down there for an appearance at a youth football camp. Something he does often in order to give back to the community. One of the reasons he is beloved already in Chicago. However, this particular visit was clouded by personal anguish. It appears an accident happened to Cohen’s brother in nearby Raleigh.

One that will impact not only himself but the entire family the rest of their lives. Feeling compelled for the first time, Cohen spoke out to the young kids about what happened according to Ed Harkin of Greensboro News and Record.

Cohen’s brother was involved in a shooting recently, and while the former A&T running back hadn’t told anyone before Saturday, he believed it was the perfect time.

Calling up a young kid in a wheel chair who participated in Cohen’s second free camp at his alma mater, the Chicago Bears running back called for quiet.

“I want to tell everyone right now something I’ve not told anyone until now,” he said, standing with one hand on the boy in the wheel chair. “My brother was shot recently. He’s in a wheel chair now, too. He’ll never walk again.”

Tarik Cohen suddenly faces a difficult task ahead

It is difficult to express any sort of empathy for Cohen simply because it is hard to put oneself in his shoes. Imagining such pain for a family member is close to impossible. There is no telling the anguish and sorrow he must feel. Focusing on football at this point must be hard. Especially with training camp less than two weeks away for the Chicago Bears.

Cohen viewed the young wheelchair-bound boy as inspiration. A reminder that life won’t end for his brother. It will just change. That doesn’t mean it will be impossible for him to have a life and have fun. Odds are he too will get over this tragedy with time. How it will affect him in 2019? That is anybody’s guess. The young running back is a competitor, but these sort of events tend to change one’s perspective.

He wouldn’t be the first to struggle to regain his edge afterward.