Detroit Lions safety Tracy Walker: Ahmaud Arbery is my 'cousin'

Chris Thomas
Detroit Free Press

Tracy Walker is speaking out about the death of his "cousin" Ahmaud Arbery.

Walker, the Detroit Lions safety, described Arbery as "a person full of laughter and joy," in an interview with E!News on Friday. 

Walker, a third-round pick by the Lions in 2018, grew up in Brunswick, Georgia, about 15 minutes from where Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was shot and killed while jogging Feb. 23 in Satilla Shores. Two white men — Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son, Travis McMichael, 34 — were charged with murder and aggravated assault Thursday, after a graphic video surfaced of the killing

Two armed white men killed Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old unarmed black man, as he jogged through a southern Georgia neighborhood.

"That’s crazy they killed my cousin in cold blood like this," Walker tweeted Tuesday. 

It wasn't immediately clear if Walker and Arbery are blood-related. Walker told E!News he last saw Arbery in February. 

"We can't continue to kill ourselves and kill each other off," Walker told the website. "That's not OK. We can't continue with the violence." 

Arbery's death has reignited a national conversation about racial profiling and the shooting deaths of unarmed black men. According to the New York Times, Gregory McMichael initially told police Arbery looked like a man suspected of "several break-ins in the area."

"We're definitely missing his presence," Walker told E!News. "I mean, it's as simple as that. He was a blessing in our lives and honestly he's gone."

Chris Thomas is the sports editor at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter @bychristhomas.