Allen Hurns signed with the Dallas Cowboys on Friday, and one of his first moves as a member of the team wasn’t about himself, but about honoring others. On Tuesday, Hurns announced on a local Dallas radio show called the Shan & RJ Show that he picked 17 as his new jersey number. And he picked that number to pay tribute to the 17 people who lost their lives at the school shooting in Parkland, Florida in February. Via the Dallas Morning News, here’s what Hurns said when the hosts asked him why he chose his new number.
“The Douglas shooting that was in Florida, 17 people lost their lives, so I chose that number.”
Hurns’ roots are in Florida, so his connection with the shooting goes beyond his sympathy for the victims. He was born and raised in Miami, went to Miami Carol City Senior High School, and played college football at the University of Miami. He also spent the first four years of his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Florida is in his blood, and Parkland is just an hour from Miami.
Choosing 17 is a lovely tribute to the victims of the Parkland shooting, and it also solves a problem. It’s the same problem that faces many players when they join a new team: their preferred jersey number is taken. Hurns has worn 88 for his entire professional career, but in Dallas, that number belongs to Dez Bryant. That’s probably not a conversation Hurns wanted to have with Dez, and chances are it wouldn’t have ended with Hurns taking ownership of that number.
This way, Hurns doesn’t have to ruffle any feathers, and he gets a jersey number that’s meaningful to him. It allows him to pay tribute to his roots, and make sure people don’t forget such a horrible tragedy.
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