Tampa Bay Buccaneers Receiver Mike Evans Had to Learn to Forgive His Uncle For Killing His Father

Mike Evans fulfilled his dream of becoming an NFL player. But the road was not easy for the talented receiver.

At a young age, he lost his father, who he looked up to, and throughout his life, he had to learn to forgive the man who killed him, which was his uncle.

Mike Evans becoming an elite receiver in the NFL

Before Evans came into the league, he established himself as one of the top players in college football. Evans attended Texas A&M University. He redshirted during his freshman season in 2011. The next season he was productive at the receiver position. He finished with 82 receptions for 1,105 yards and five touchdowns and received freshman All-SEC honors from the league’s coaches. Evans continued to show improvement during the 2013 season. He finished with 69 receptions for 1,394 yards and 12 touchdowns and was a first-team All-SEC selection.

In December of 2013, Evans was selected to the 2013 AP All-America Team. After only playing two seasons at Texas A&M, he decided to enter the NFL draft. Going into the 2014 NFL draft, Evans was ranked the top wide receiver in the draft by Sports Illustrated and the second-best wide receiver by NFLDraftScout.com. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected him with the seventh overall pick. Evans had an impressive rookie season for the Buccaneers. He became the first rookie receiver to have three consecutive games of 100 yards and at least one touchdown since 1998. Evans finished his rookie season with 68 receptions for 1,051 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team.

After his rookie year, Evans continued to put up good numbers. He has recorded over 1,000 receiving yards each season, which tied an NFL record set by Randy Moss. So far, Evans has made three Pro Bowl teams and was named a second-team All-Pro. He currently has 462 receptions for 7,260 yards and 48 touchdowns.

Mike Evans lost his father when he was nine years old

Evans did not have the opportunity to have his father watch him have a successful college career or NFL career. Sam Kilgore stabbed and shot Evans’ father after becoming angry by the domestic violence his sister had been subjected to by Evans’ father. At the time, Evans did not know why his uncle killed his father, and for the rest of his life, Evans had to go through life without having his father present.

At a young age, Evans did not know what was going on between his mother and father. His father was his childhood hero. In 2016 ESPN did an E:60 feature on Evans, where he and his family talked about that night when his father died.

Learning to forgive his uncle

Evans’ was not aware of his father being violent toward his mother. When his uncle found out, he was filled with rage and wanted to take it out on Evans’ father. That’s what enticed him to kill Evans’ father. Evans’ and his mother would visit his uncle in prison, and he eventually found out why his uncle did what he did and learned to forgive him over time.

“It’s pretty horrific, but my mom and I stayed strong,” Evans said in an article from the Houston Chronicle. “Things happen in life that you can’t explain and have to go through. I’m lucky to be blessed to have a lot of people that made it easier for me to grow up and transition to the young man I’ve become. I had mentors. I had a lot of great friends and people in my life. It helps. You’ve got to live on.” Evans went on to enjoy a lot of success as a football player, and he’s making his dad proud with the success that he’s had.