Chicago Bears star Tarik Cohen will be arriving at training camp next week with a new purpose.
The running back revealed that his younger sibling was shot in North Carolina in early June and is “probably paralyzed from the waist” down.
Cohen had up until now not spoken of the tragedy that struck his family during the offseason, but when he saw a young camper in a wheelchair at a youth football camp in Greensboro over the weekend, he connected and decided to share his story.
“I just saw my brother in him,” Cohen said Monday at his youth football ProCamp at Elk Grove High School. “And I just saw how much fun he was having and it just made me think of my brother.”
Cohen has been spending a lot of time with his family since the incident, he said.
“I feel like I was injured also,” Cohen said. “Someone I’ve been around my whole life. I feel like we’re one. He’s not a different person, we’re the same person. So if anything affects him, it affects me. That’s my little brother. I’ve done the best to protect him his whole life. So then when this happened, it was like a culture shock to me.”
Though heartbreaking, Cohen said the incident only adds “fuel to the fire” for him as approaches the upcoming season.
“I want to just, like I know it’s not possible, but just feel like I want to walk for him,” Cohen said. “I want to do things, experience things in my life and let him see those things so that he can feel like as if he’s done it also.”
“He’s my purpose,” Cohen added. “They’ve always been my purpose. My brothers and my mom.”
The Raleigh Police Department could not immediately be reached for comment on the shooting.