NFL legend Barry Sanders reveals heart-related ‘health scare’

Field Level Media

June 22, 2024 at 1:41 am.

NFL legendary running back Barry Sanders revealed on Friday that he had a heart-related “health scare” during Father’s Day weekend.

Sanders, who turns 56 in July, didn’t provide specifics about his condition in posting on social media but wrote that he is “taking this opportunity to prioritize (his) health and well-being.”

“It was unexpected and served as a reminder of the importance of staying vigilant about our physical well-being, even when we are feeling fine,” Sanders wrote.

“I am grateful for the amazing doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals for providing me with needed care. My family and I are thankful for your prayers and support during this time.”

Sanders, who last September became the first Lions player to have a statue built in his honor, was a first-ballot selection to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

The Lions made Sanders, a Heisman Trophy winner at Oklahoma State, the third overall pick of the 1989 NFL Draft. He spent his entire 10-year career with Detroit (1989-98), running for 15,269 yards — now the fourth-most career rushing yards in NFL history — and 99 touchdowns while catching 352 passes for 2,921 yards and 10 TDs.

Sanders rushed for 2,053 yards in 1997 when he shared NFL Most Valuable Player honors with Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre. Sanders was selected to 10 Pro Bowls in 10 seasons, named first-team All-Pro six times, voted the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1989 and selected to the NFL 100 All-Time Team.