Dre Kirkpatrick Continues to Give Back To Gadsden
Dre Kirkpatrick’s 21 Kids Foundation partners with Quality of Life Health Services for a Gadsden Community COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic. The event is in Gadsden Saturday, August 21, from noon-3 p.m. and those interested can register by calling 256-439-6404 with more information at drekirk21kids.com
"I just feel like it's mostly important because of the tragedy that's going on in America right now with COVID, and I finally reached the hard decision of getting vaccinated," Kirkpatrick said. "I just feel like, man, a lot of people don't have that opportunity offered to them, they don't have the education behind it. So, what my foundation and Quality of Life is doing, we've come together and we've gathered up $100,000 in grant money to provide the information, provide the centers for people to come and get the vaccination."
His clinic isn't about "forcing" the vaccine on anyone, but rather providing an avenue for those seeking trusted information on the vaccines and deciding for themselves what is best for them individually.
Kirkpatrick created 21 Kids Foundation in 2013 to help give back to his community after seeing a lacking from those before him to give back to the Gadsden area, whether it be through football camps, aiding the homeless or educating the community on serious issues.
Kirkpatrick says Nick Saban stresses the idea of being a role model and giving back to his players at Alabama.
"That's kinda the thing that stuck with me," Kirkpatrick said. "That's kind of the clarity I needed when I was at Alabama. You know, so I'm just trying to do the best I can and give as much help as I can."
Kirkpatrick played at Alabama from 2009-11, winning two national championships along the way. He gave his thoughts on how the program has evolved since his time went there weren't quite as many 5-stars on the team at one time as there is today.
He also lent his thoughts on Saban's coaching style and how it's evolved over the years.
"I tell him all the time, I say 'Coach, you're getting soft on them'," Kirkpatrick joked. "You know, and he don't like that, but I tell him anyway. All fun and games."
Kirkpatrick had the opportunity during the Summer to catch up with Saban when he traveled back to Tuscaloosa for a camp his son, Dre Kirkpatrick, Jr., was involved in. Kirkpatrick said it was "surreal" to see his son be coached up by Saban in Tuscaloosa, but admitted he had to let his son learn for himself what it was like to take Saban's coaching as a defensive back.
The 9-year NFL veteran also gave his thoughts on Ga'Quincy "Kool-Aid" McKinstry and the Alabama Crimson Tide cornerbacks as well as what he's looking for with his next opportunity in the NFL.
For the entire conversation, check out the video below.