Vols safety remembers late father in Players' Tribune story

Tennessee Volunteers defensive back Micah Abernathy wrote a story remembering his late father in The Players Tribune on Friday.

The story entitled “The Name on the Back” pays tribute to Abernathy’s father, who died in March after a long battle with colon cancer. Abernathy grew up in Atlanta, which is about 70 miles away from the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga.

“This one would’ve been big for Dad,” Abernathy wrote of Tennessee’s 34-31 comeback win at Georgia. “It would’ve given him bragging rights…for years.

"Right before I ran onto the field to celebrate our miraculous win over Georgia with my teammates, I took a deep breath and thought about my dad."

The sophomore safety was named the SEC defensive player of the week after recording three solo tackles and recovering three fumbles in the 45-24 win in the Battle at Bristol on Sept. 10.

Abernathy, 19, is credited with 28 total tackles and two pass breakups this season, according to UT Athletics. He's made five starts for Tennessee this season.

“My dad worked tirelessly on behalf of civil rights and human-rights causes during his lifetime, all the while instilling in me an understanding that I have a responsibility to the Abernathy name,” Abernathy wrote.

Abernathy mentions how his father would be proud of him, and looks back on his grandfather’s close relationship as a friend and advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Ralph David Abernathy, Micah Abernathy’s grandfather, served as the program director and later as the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Micah Abernathy said the Vols are “much tougher” compared to last year’s team. Tennessee has overcome double-digit deficits in four of its five games this season.

(© 2016 WBIR)


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