Ex-NFL WR Braylon Edwards Saves 80-Year-Old Man From Being Beaten To Death In YMCA Locker Room

Braylon Edwards
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

A scary situation struck at a YMCA in a Detroit suburb, as an 80-year-old man was assaulted in the locker room by a 20-year-old assailant who intended to commit murder. Former Michigan college star and NFL veteran wide receiver Braylon Edwards happened to be on the scene, stepped in, and broke up the scuffle before the senior citizen was injured even worse.

The elderly man is in the hospital and is still in critical condition, per a report by ClickOnDetroit.com’s Derick Hutchinson, who broke the story on the criminal charge for Malik Ali Smith. The incident occurred in Farmington Hills, Michigan, and allegedly began once Smith and the victim got into a heated verbal dispute over music in the locker room.

Here’s what Edwards had to say about the situation:

“I walk into the locker room after work, and basically, I hear — about four rows behind me — arguing about music and how it was being played too loud… So, I’m not paying attention, and I was just minding my business. The noise escalates, and then you can hear some pushing and shoving, so you know what fighting sounds like, but once I hear a thud, that’s when I got up and turned around. I see the guy…(he) grabs the back of the victim’s head by the hair, and he was about to slam it down on the counter.

“[…] I didn’t know it was that serious…I mean, the victim probably had a serious concussion by nature, but it wasn’t until I talked to the detective down in Farmington who told me that if I didn’t step in — but at the end of the day, that’s what you do.”

Smith faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if he’s convicted for this senseless act of violence. All the best wishes to the victim, who remains in critical condition, for a full recovery.

Good on Edwards for intervening to say the least. Haven’t seen the former No. 3 overall draft pick of the Cleveland Browns around of late, but in the spirit of the recent NFL Scouting Combine, Edwards checked in at just under 6-foot-3 and 211 pounds back in 2005. His athletic profile and measurables were very comparable to Washington wideout Rome Odunze.

In short, Edwards is not the type of guy you want to see coming after you in a violent situation. He showed a lot of courage by defending the victim. There was no real way of knowing in the moment what kind of altercation it could be, or if there was a lethal weapon involved.

Watch below for more details from Edwards on the local news:

Nobody could mess with Edwards back in his heyday as a collegian, that’s for sure. He strung together three straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons for Michigan back in the early 2000s, and had double-digit touchdown catches in all those years. He peaked in the NFL with the Browns in 2007 as a second-team All-Pro with 80 receptions, 1,289 yards and 16 TDs. The 41-year-old was a key part of the New York Jets teams coached by Rex Ryan in 2009 and 2010 that went to back-to-back AFC Championship Games.

Edwards now works for Woodward Sports Network, so he’s still very much a part of the local community as a Detroit native. Good thing, too, because he was in the right place at the right time to make his neck of the woods a better place by putting a halt to an egregious act of violence.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock