A University of Arkansas football player who was recently drafted to the NFL is being praised for intervening and “risking everything” to prevent a young woman from potentially being raped in college.
On Saturday, Dre Greenlaw was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
That same day, Gerry Dales spoke out on Twitter about a past incident involving his daughter and Greenlaw, who he says stepped in at a college party after an unknown man slipped something into his daughter’s drink and attempted to get her to leave with him.
In the thread of tweets, Dales said he would “always owe” the 21-year-old linebacker for heroically “risking everything” in his collegiate career to save his daughter from the dangerous situation.
The incident happened when Greenlaw and Dales’ daughter were both underage freshman at the University of Arkansas. Dales said the pair knew each other before college from attending the same high school together.
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“My daughter went to a college party when she was freshman,” Dales wrote. “She knew very few people at the party, and also didn’t have a ton of experience drinking. Someone slipped something into her drink when she wasn’t paying attention”
“Dre was also a freshman. And he knew my daughter from high school,” he continued. “And he did *not* know the guy who was all over her.”
When the unknown man attempted to get his daughter to leave the party with him, Dales said Greenlaw “stopped the guy and said, ‘she’s not going anywhere.’” Ultimately, it was enough to make the man leave and never show up to another party again.”
My daughter went to a college party when she was freshman. She knew very few people at the party, and also didn't have a ton of experience drinking.
Someone slipped something into her drink when she wasn't paying attention.
— Gerry (@GerryDales) April 27, 2019
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As a Division I collegiate football player, Greenlaw could have been in a lot of trouble for being at the event so Dales said he never spoke out about the incident in an effort to protect the athlete and his career.
“He was a starter on the Razorbacks. His place was not secure. He was underage and at a kegger. He wasn’t drinking, but if there was a fight he was risking getting thrown off the team. In some ways, he was risking everything,” he wrote. “And he risked it for my daughter.”
“I didn’t ever tell this story, because maybe someone would say ‘oh, he shouldn’t have been at that party.’ Maybe not. But he had my daughter’s back, and for that I will always owe him,” Dales continued.
I didn't ever tell this story, because maybe someone would say "oh, he shouldn't have been at that party." Maybe not. But he had my daughter's back, and for that I will always owe him.
So, do me a favor. Root for Dre. He's a good kid with a good heart.
— Gerry (@GerryDales) April 27, 2019
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In a final note, Dales praised Greenlaw for his “good heart” and requested that his followers cheer him on as he begins his professional football career with the San Francisco 49ers.
“So, do me a favor. Root for Dre. He’s a good kid with a good heart,” he said. “So, @DreGreenlaw – congratulations, and thank you.”
Since Dales shared the story, the football player has retweeted and liked several of the tweets, but has yet to comment publicly on social media.
Speaking to PEOPLE, Greenlaw said the young woman “needed help that night and I was just looking out for her when I saw her.”
“I just know I instantly stopped having fun and paid her my full attention,” Greenlaw says. “People were trying to get at her, but I called her friend and stood with her until she came.”
“She wasn’t in the best state and at first, maybe I thought she was drunk, but then she told me she needed help and that somebody might have put something in her cup… then I realized she really needed help.”
In his four seasons playing for the Razorbacks, Greenlaw accumulated 321 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, four sacks and three interceptions, the San Francisco 49ers report.
The athlete was also named team captain for the 2018 season, as well as earned several accolades in his first year playing for the Razorbacks.
In 2015, he was named Freshman All-American by FWAA, Sporting News, SEC Defensive Freshman of the Year by Athlon Sports, First Team All-Freshman by Athlon Sports, and SEC All-Freshman Team by the coaches, according to the Arkansas Razorbacks’ website.