Former UK running back stops FedEx truck to help man
If he kept driving, he would hit the man. If he did nothing, he might leave a man in need.
For Alfred Rawls, a FedEx driver who often works in downtown Lexington, that was not an option.
That’s how Rawls, 51, became Facebook famous. A video — which now has over 78,000 views — shows Rawls get out of his FedEx truck last Thursday and push a man in a wheelchair out of traffic on busy Main Street and into Triangle Park.
Before his FedEx job, Rawls worked in the Fayette County Detention Center for 22 years, and before that, he was a star running back at the University of Kentucky in the late 80s. He loves to help people.
“I’ll help anybody,” said Rawls, who explained that he recognized the man in a wheelchair from his days working at the jail. Everyone deserves to be treated “like a human being,” he said.
“I took the video because it tickled me to see someone actually doing something sweet,” said Bobbi Michele, who first posted the video to her page. “And I posted it because I felt like everyone needed to see that there is still some good left in the world.”
FedEx also was impressed. “We commend this ... employee who went above and beyond to assist a local citizen with crossing the street,” said spokesperson Allie Addoms.
Rawls said he loves his delivery job because he gets to meet so many people. He similarly enjoyed his job at the jail because he was so close to so many people in need. People ask him for help all the time, he said.
“They know I won’t say ‘no,’” Rawls said. “I’m that type of guy.”
He hails from Pitts, Ga., and starred as the Wildcats main tailback from 1988-89. He most famously played hero when the Cats downed No. 11 Georgia in Commonwealth Stadium during the ‘88 season. His 48-yard, game-winning scamper snapped an eight-game SEC losing streak, and gave UK head coach Jerry Claiborne his highest ranking win.
He ranks 24th all-time on UK’s career rushing list, scoring 16 rushing touchdowns and tallying 1,370 yards in two years.
After college, he tried out for the Indianapolis Colts, but didn’t make it. A deal with the San Francisco 49ers fell through after his agent got into trouble, Rawls said. He was hoping to get signed by the Atlanta Falcons. But while working a part-time job, he got run over by a forklift—ending his football career.
“You know what NFL stands for?”
“Not For Long,” Rawls chuckled. “God had other plans for me.”
Rawls returned to UK, and graduated with a degree in social work. He wanted to work with local juveniles, but a promotion to the main jail in Fayette County put him in contact with all sorts of people. In a roundabout way, that eventually led to his Good Samaritan act on Main Street, and its eventual broadcast on the internet.
“I want to thank the person who took the video,” Rawls said. “I want to thank her for letting people know that there’s still good out there.”