Daily Sports Smile: Browns star Myles Garrett honors late grandmother with heartwarming mural

Jaylon Thompson
USA TODAY Sports Plus

Cleveland Browns star Myles Garrett has endeared himself to the local community since becoming the first overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. On Tuesday, Garrett dedicated a special mural in downtown Cleveland to honor his late grandmother.

The mural sits in front of the Playhouse Square sign on Euclid Avenue. It depicts a young Garrett celebrating his birthday next to his grandmother, Juanita Garrett. The talented All-Pro told Akron Beacon Journal reporter Nate Ulrich that his grandmother left a profound impact on his life.

Cleveland Browns star Myles Garrett's late grandmother, Juanita Garrett, is featured in a mural in Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland. Lauren Pearce is the artist.

Garrett also mentioned that his grandmother help guide him on his NFL journey. She passed away in 2014 and he lives by her teachings each day.

“That’s a special woman right there,” Garrett said. “My family members know it, my dad knows it and just real honored to have her put up there and placed in front of everybody. The way I conduct myself ... how I’m able to share who I am, the person I want to be and how I want others to treat me, I think that’s all been her influence kind of just passed through me.”

The mural was created by local artist Lauren Pearce. Garrett partnered with Pearce to craft the heartwarming moment.

It is also the Garrett’s second mural. In April, he helped showcase the “Cleveland is the Reason” mural near the Cleveland Visitors Center.

Last season, Garrett was named the Browns nominee for the 2020 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award that honors NFL players for their efforts on the field and their dedication in the community.

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Garrett holds a prominent role with several local partnerships. He has teamed with the Cleveland Hope Exchange and other local businesses to provide meals during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also is an active player captain for the NFL Waterboys. The organization helps bring clean water to communities in East Africa.

Now in his fifth season, Garrett has blossomed into one of the NFL’s best defenders with 48 career sacks. This week, he was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts against the Chicago Bears.

Garrett hopes to continue building his roots in Cleveland. He calls it his second home and a place that now will have a piece of him forever.

“I want to plant my roots deep here because this is going to be home for me for a long time and hopefully forever,” Garrett said. “I’m always a part of this community, this city. I want to live through this city. I want to be able to say that I have two homes. That’s Texas and Cleveland.”