One day after Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones shared the devastating news that his son, Marlo, had died, the team paid their respects to the late infant.
Ahead of Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers, a moment of silence was held at Detroit’s Ford Field for the 6-month-old boy, who died suddenly on Friday.
“Before today’s game, we honored Marvin and Jazmyn Jones’ late son, Marlo, who passed away earlier this week,” the team wrote on Twitter, alongside a smiling photo of Marlo that was displayed at the stadium.
Making things even more emotional, Jones and his wife, Jazmyn, made a brief appearance at the stadium, stepping out onto the field with their sons Marvin III, Mareon and Murrell as well as daughter Mya.
Reflecting on the moment, Jones, who was placed on injured reserve earlier this month, posted several images of his family standing together, as he shared a heartfelt message to his baby boy.
“Marlito, I still can’t believe you’re not here with us, but you’re up there looking at us with that smile. THE WORLD loves you, son. I LOVE YOU SON … My heart … Always!” he wrote in Spanish.
In the images, Jones holds hands with his wife, while they both appear to fight back tears. In a touching tribute to their late brother, the athlete’s children all wore Lions jerseys with their father’s number, and Marlo’s name written on the back.
Before today's game, we honored Marvin and Jazmyn Jones' late son, Marlo, who passed away earlier this week. pic.twitter.com/t6yTommmpu— Detroit Lions (@Lions) December 30, 2019
Jones’ teammates went on to share how touched they were that the athlete came out to the game.
“Everybody was definitely inspired,” quarterback David Blough told reporters following the game, which the Lions lost 23-20, according to the Detroit Free Press. “We’ve been thinking about Marvin and his family a ton.”
Darius Slay, who is also a quarterback for the team, said Jones being there “lifted me up” and “gave me a whole ‘nother boost.”
“He and Jazymn are great people, and my heart is just so saddened for them and with them right now,” added coach Matt Patricia. “I was very happy to see him today.”
On Saturday, the NFL player revealed the devastating news on social media.
“Yesterday the Lord called home a piece of my family’s heart, Marlo. It is hard to believe that our little angel, our fighter from day one, our son ‘Marlito’ has unfortunately passed away and is no longer here with us,” he wrote. “Marlo, the joy that you brought to us everyday, with that smile, and that energy was like heaven on earth. You will always be in our hearts. We will always remember you.”
“We know that everything that We do from here on out will be with you. Every step we take, you will be with us. Whenever we have a bad day, We will think of your smile. We miss you already buddy and will forever love you,” Jones continued. “Rest peacefully our sweet baby boy. You have gained your wings.”
That evening, the Detroit Lions released their own statement, expressing support for both Marvin and his family.
“Earlier today, we were informed by Marvin and Jazmyn Jones about the sudden passing of their youngest son, Marlo. The Detroit Lions fully support Marvin and Jazmyn during this extremely difficult time,” the team wrote. “Marvin and Jazmyn embody the true meaning of family, and the example they set has made them an inspiration to so many in our community. We thank everyone for the outpouring of support.”
The Green Bay Packers also tweeted out a brief message, writing, “Our deepest sympathies go out to the Jones family & the Lions organization during this difficult time.”