With the ongoing NFL lockout, just about all the stories we’ve heard recently have been about what teams are doing in terms of practicing and how players are filling the void left by not having OTAs and minicamps. Amid all of that, it’s nice to hear a story that really truly matters.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Leonard Pope had one of those moments recently when he attended a childrens’ birthday party with his fiance. Pope was getting ready to leave the party when he heard a scream and saw six-year-old Bryson Moore drowning in a pool. Pope jumped in to save the child’s life and he tells everyone a little more about it in the following interview.
Leonard Pope joined WQAM in Miami with The Michael Irvin Show to discuss the events surrounding him saving Bryson Moore’s life, what made him jump in after a split-second decision, how Bryson’s mother reacted after it all happened and how the moment compared to his best football moments.
Sharing the story of how he saved the life of six-year-old Bryson Moore:
“We were actually at an apartment complex and I was attending a kid’s birthday. It was actually my fiance’s cousin, a three-year-0ld birthday party. … I had actually got out of the water myself a couple hours before Bryson and his mom had came over. I was on my way out the house and I hear a scream, like a scream from a woman, a mother, somebody where the tone of voice where you know it’s real and someone’s in a lot of danger. She said, ‘He’s drowning! He’s drowning!’ I looked and I didn’t see no one. I looked at where she was pointing at in the water and all I could see was his little hands above the water. I didn’t wait for anyone else to see what they was going to do, my first instinct is I’ve got to get this child out of this water. I have two daughters myself and I told Bryson’s mom I would want someone to do that for me, too.”
More on what he did when jumping in the water to save him:
“I just ran and jumped in, cell phone, wallet, clothes and everything. I kind of jumped on top of him, but I positioned myself to grab him by the waist and bring him up above the water. I brought him to his mom. It was a perfectly safe environment with parents out watching and everything. What I think happened is that, you know how a pool levels out or something and then goes out to the deep end, I’m thinking he lost his footing. … He went down and couldn’t swim and couldn’t get back up. That’s when I ran and jumped in and got him.”
On making the split-second decision to do all this:
“I was the first one at the scene. Me, being a pro and an NFL football player, we have to make decisions … and I felt like I had to do that. I didn’t know if anyone else could swim or not, but I did what I had to do because I knew I could swim. It was a life on the line. I can replace a cell phone or a wallet, but you can’t replace a kid’s life.”
How Bryson’s mom reacted after he handed Bryson back:
“She told me if she had a million dollars that she would have gave it to me right there on the spot. There’s just so much that she wanted to applaud me and thank me for and she can’t thank me enough. … That’s her only child and she told me stayed up all day and all night long just thinking.”
How did this moment compare to some of his greatest moments on the football field?:
“You don’t get but one life. You can lose a championship and you can lose a Super Bowl or whatever, but you have a chance to repeat that the following year. A life, you don’t. You don’t get but one. You don’t get a chance to repeat another life.”