Man thanks 49ers' Greenlaw for saving daughter

ByNick Wagoner ESPN logo
Friday, May 3, 2019

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Moments after the San Francisco 49ers used a fifth-round draft choice on linebacker Dre Greenlaw, a grateful father took to Twitter to thank Greenlaw for protecting his daughter at a fraternity party in 2015.

Gerry Dalyposted a series of tweets Saturday afternoon, recounting the story of how his daughter Meghan had been at the same party as Greenlaw when the two were freshmen at the University of Arkansas.

According to Daly, a male student was "all over" his daughter at a party, and when the man tried to "steer" his daughter out the front door, Greenlaw intervened.

Greenlaw, speaking to the Bay Area media for the first time in person Thursday, confirmed the story and offered more details as he spent the majority of a 22-minute session recounting how he helped Meghan Daly.

According to Greenlaw, he went to a party at Sigma Chi fraternity with some friends. While there, he caught up with Meghan, whom he previously knew at Fayetteville High in Arkansas. Greenlaw said he immediately noticed something was wrong with her but wasn't sure what was happening.

A couple of minutes into their conversation, Greenlaw said, Meghan told him she wasn't feeling well and suspected that somebody might have put something in her drink. Greenlaw said he wasn't immediately sure of what to do, but said he took some time to evaluate the situation so he wouldn't end up in what he called a "vulnerable position."

Soon enough, Greenlaw said he saw some guys approach Meghan on the dance floor, attempting to get close to her. When one of the guys was getting a little too close, Greenlaw said, he knew he needed to help.

Greenlaw said that although he was cognizant of the potential fallout of an altercation, he decided to act.

"I went from hanging with my friends and doing what I was doing to, 'All right, let's go find your friends,'" Greenlaw said Thursday.

From there, Greenlaw said he kept Meghan by his side for the next half-hour as they searched the house for the friend who brought her to the party. That search was fruitless, but eventually Greenlaw was able to call Meghan's friend and explain the situation.

Greenlaw stayed with Meghan until her friend showed up and was able to get her home safely. According to Greenlaw, Meghan called him the next day after she got out of the hospital, where she had to have her stomach pumped to remove the Rohypnol, also known as a "roofie," that someone had put in her drink.

"I felt like I kind of needed to step in, so I did that, and I'm thankful that it stopped when it did and I took action," Greenlaw said. "You never know what could have happened. I pray to God nothing would have, but I was just doing it because that's just what I felt like was right at the time."

Gerry Daly said he chose not to previously disclose the story because he didn't want Greenlaw to come under scrutiny for attending a party where alcohol was present when he was underage.

After the Niners used pick No. 148 on Greenlaw on Saturday, Daly said he felt it was an appropriate time to tell the story, thank Greenlaw and implore others to root for him to succeed.

"He had my daughter's back, and for that I will always owe him," Daly wrote in his tweet. "So, do me a favor. Root for Dre. He's a good kid with a good heart."

According to Greenlaw, the attention he got soon after Daly posted the story was a bit overwhelming, and he didn't respond immediately because he wasn't sure where it was coming from.

A couple of days later, Greenlaw got a call from Meghan, who thanked him again and congratulated him on getting drafted.

"I saw the name and didn't know who it was, but I didn't want to respond because I didn't want to take credit for something I didn't do," Greenlaw said. "But she called me, I saw her name and I saw her last name, and she said, 'My dad tweeted you about that night that happened at Sigma Chi.'"

Even before Daly shared the story of that night at Arkansas, Greenlaw had grown accustomed to garnering attention for non-football-related matters. He grew up an orphan and was in foster care for six years before Brian Early, one of his assistant football coaches in high school, took him in. The Early family adopted Greenlaw last year.

Now, as Greenlaw embarks on this weekend's rookie minicamp and a professional career, he said he's looking forward to getting the focus back to football and doing what he can to make any future publicity be about what he accomplishes on the field.

"At the time, regardless of it was my friend or not, you have got to watch out when you're going to frat places," Greenlaw said. "Not saying that Arkansas is bad for it, but it happens. And I'm just thankful that I was there to help."