Deebo Samuel pays tribute to Friday’s real Deebo, Tommy Lister

Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel gained recognition for his play on the field, but his tribute to the namesake ahead of Week 4 is great in of itself.

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel has a pretty unique name. And if you’re not familiar with it, “Deebo” isn’t his birth name. It’s his nickname.

If you’re a fan of 1990s movies, you might recall the 1995 hit, Friday, produced and starring Ice Cube.

And one of Ice Cube’s biggest nemeses in the move was a character you might also remember, Deebo, played by the late great, Tommy Lister Jr.

Before Lister passed in December of 2020, he was part of a Niners media production featuring both himself and Samuel, a clip where the Friday-like Deebo was trying to track down San Francisco’s former second-round NFL Draft pick out of South Carolina.

Not long before Lister’s passing, he posted a clip watching and admiring Samuel on his Instagram:

Sadly, that was Lister’s last Instagram post before he passed.

Deebo Samuel has awesome tribute to his movie namesake

Samuel, who received the nickname “Deebo” after being a sports bully growing up, elected to pay tribute to Lister when he arrived at Levi’s Stadium in advance of the 49ers’ Week 4 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks:

Samuel, dressed like Lister’s character in the movie and riding a bicycle to the stadium, is emulating one of the more iconic moments from the movie, Friday.

And anyone who watched that film would recall the similarity between one Deebo and another:

Of course, the real-life Lister was referred to by the Niners as “one of the nicest bullies we’ve come across” shortly after he passed away.

Samuel was broken up by it, too, and he’s now trying to pay tribute the best way he can.

Fortunately, Samuel will have his chance to be a massive bully in a crucial NFC West showdown against the Seahawks on Sunday in front of San Francisco’s home crowd at Levi’s Stadium.

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