Tampa Bay Buccaneers player Gerald McCoy forgave the teenager who broke into his home last week. The incident occurred hours before the Buccaneers defensive tackle took on the Atlanta Falcons in Tampa, Florida.
According to ABC Action News, 17-year-old Justin Frazier walked through an unlocked door Nov. 3, entering McCoy’s home before 4:00 p.m. McCoy was not home at the time but his wife Ebony and father, Gerald McCoy Sr, were. The elder McCoy faced Frazier who had placed several items in his backpack.
The police report obtained by the Tampa, Flordia station said Frazier pulled a gun on McCoy Sr. But the gun was a pellet gun. A study by the University of Iowa revealed white people are more likely to misidentify a toy gun as a real one when pictured with a Black child. However, when it came to white children, participants found spotting real guns difficult. The research also revealed a strong racial bias towards Black boys as young as five-years-old being identified with actual weapons.
Authorities ultimately recovered the two pellet guns and the Xbox from the scene. Before then, during a scuffle, McCoy Sr. broke his hand. After the struggle, Frazier took off and hid inside a neighbor’s home where police arrested him. Officers charged the teen with armed burglary of an occupied dwelling and an unoccupied dwelling, grand theft, aggravated assault and aggravated battery.
However, McCoy does not harbor ill will towards Frazier.
“Maybe it was supposed to happen that way,” he told ESPN of the teen’s break in. “Maybe he was supposed to break into my house… I forgive him. Just a lost kid. [He] probably just needs some guidance. Ain’t nothing to be upset over. It happens.”
The sports website reported McCoy Sr. is currently back home in Oklahoma. He attended church and played the drums, his injury notwithstanding.
“You can look at it a different way,” McCoy Jr. said. “You can look at it as, ‘Aw, I hate the person who tried to break into my house’ or you can look at it as ‘somebody who needs help.”