Why Does Kansas City Chiefs Running Back Isiah Pacheco Run So Hard? The Reason Is Heartbreaking

Melissa Willets - Author

Jan. 3 2024, Updated 12:49 p.m. ET

Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (10) breaks loose for a long run in the first quarter of an NFL game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs on Dec 31, 2023 at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO
Source: Getty Images

There are several stars on the Kansas City Chiefs. First and foremost, we all know the name Patrick Mahomes, obviously, second only to Travis Kelce, as well as Taylor Swift (no matter what the dads, Brads, and Chads say). Well, OK. Taylor's not a player, but almost.

Meanwhile, another big star on the former Super Bowl winning NFL team is none other than Isiah Pacheco, the puma-like running back who is responsible for seven touchdowns in the 2023 season.

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Fans can't help but wonder why he runs so incredibly hard during each and every play, as if he is "mad at the world." It turns out there's a truly heartbreaking reason that the running back leaves it all on the football field all the times he's out there.

Read on for the tragic story that has come to shape his life and career.

Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs reacts after the game vs the Cincinnati Bengals at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on December 31, 2023 in Kansas City
Source: Getty Images
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So, why does Isiah Pacheco run so hard during each game?

It turns out that the star player has a very tragic backstory.

When he was just a high schooler playing football in New Jersey, his older brother Tivares was murdered. Then, a year later, the family experienced another heartbreaking loss when Isiah's sister Celeste was killed during a domestic dispute.

These horrific events have clearly impacted the star's outlook. As he explained to Big Ten Network, “Why [do] I leave it all out there on the field? You never know when it’s going to be your last opportunity – I never knew when it was gonna be my last time seeing my sister or my brother."

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He went on to talk about the loss of his siblings saying, “My brother ended up getting stabbed and [it hurt] me because I didn’t have that same guidance when I would hear him scream my name at the football fields. One year after that, we got a knock on the door by a family member. She says, ‘It’s Celeste, she’s gone.’ I’m just in shock because I didn’t know what to do after losing a brother and a sister now.”

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Now, Isiah's goal is to honor Tivares and Celeste's memories with his achievements on the football field.

As he shared in the interview, “I attended my sister’s funeral [and I] had a game that night. [I still played because] I wanted to make her smile.”

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Fans joke about Pacheco's intensity on the field, but others defend him given the reason.

"Always on turbo mode," reads a caption to an Instagram video that shows Isiah running, well, hard.

Commenters can obviously see how intensely the star plays, with one fan saying, "Bro runs like somebody owes him money."

"Bro hates the ground," another fan joked, but someone else popped into the comments to clarify, "He runs that hard for a reason."

No matter his inspiration, clearly the Rutgers alum's hard work has paid off, with the player having risen in the ranks from a seventh round draft pick, to being one of the stars of a team that is a real contender for the 2024 Super Bowl.

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