Former NFL player Pat Tillman joined the United States Army in May of 2002 after the country experienced the horrific day on September 11th. There is now a growing petition that is calling to have his No. 40 jersey retired across the league.
Over 13,000 people have signed have signed the petition on Change.org.
“Patrick Daniel Tillman Jr., Pat Tillman, was a player in National Football League (NFL), playing for the Arizona Cardinals from 1998-2001 and left his football career and enlisted in the United States Army in May 2002 in the wake of the September 11th attacks.
‘On the evening of April 22, 2004, Pat’s unit was ambushed as it traveled through the rugged, canyon terrain of eastern Afghanistan. His heroic efforts to provide cover for fellow soldiers as they escaped from the canyon led to his untimely and tragic death via fratricide.’
It is my goal to have the NFL retire Pat Tillman’s jersey No. 40 league wide in honor of the 20th anniversary of 09-11-2001 and Pat Tillman’s ultimate sacrifice he made as a result of this day.
They say ‘a man is not dead while his name is still spoken.’
It is my hope that for the rest of time, anytime an unknown person enters an NFL stadium, they will see TILLMAN 40 hanging from the rafters and his story will have to be told and his name will continue to be spoken.”
Tillman was serving as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan when he was killed by friendly fire at the age of 27.
The All-American linebacker for Arizona State was selected in the seventh round by the Arizona Cardinals in the 1998 NFL Draft. Tillman was a starting safety for Arizona and broke the franchise records for tackles in 2000 with 224.
Tillman was inducted into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.