The mystery gentleman who earned the "#1 decent dude" award last month after being the first man to give up his subway seat to a pregnant woman over the course of two pregnancies has been found.
Ricky Barksdale, 34, an actor, Army veteran and mixed martial artist from Harlem, was returning home on the A train on Feb. 24 when he looked up from his cellphone game and noticed a third-trimester-pregnant Yvonne Lin standing before him.
“I didn’t realize she was pregnant because she was wearing all black, and it was really hard to tell. The moment I saw, I got up immediately and said, ‘Here ma'am, take my seat,” said Barksdale, who was on his way home from a stuntman training.
Barksdale — who has served as a body double in the Keanu Reeves action film "John Wick: Chapter 2" and other films — said he was surprised when Lin reached into her backpack and handed him a 7-inch trophy of the Incredible Hulk with a plaque that read: “#1 DECENT DUDE. First man to offer subway seat to pregnant woman throughout Two Pregnancies.”
“She said, ‘Wait, I got something to give you',” Barksdale said. “That caught me off guard and she explained to me how she never gets a seat, or rarely gets a seat from men when they clearly see she’s pregnant.”
Barksdale said he has extra compassion for pregnant women, elderly people and women with babies, adding that it comes naturally for him because he’s the oldest of five children and has two children of his own.
He was shocked, he said, when Lin told him it took two pregnancies for her to rewards someone with the “decent dude” award.
“It’s just a common courtesy thing… I have no problem giving up a seat regardless of how tired I am, or where I’m going,” Barksdale said.
I'm sitting on the train and there was a lady standing in front of me and I didn't realize she was pregnant, she's wearing all black so it was hard to tell, I got up immediately to give her my seat and she said wait I have something to give you and she handed me this trophy lol. she's been trying to give this trophy away for two months to see if any man would offer her a seat and had no luck till she came across me. #onlyinnyc #mtastories #mtastory #mta #subwaystories #newyorkcity #newyorkerlife #decentguy
Barksdale said he was born and raised in New York City, and has been acting for more than four years. He served in the U.S. Army for eight years and took up entertainment as soon as he returned home, he said.
Barksdale said he never expected to be rewarded for giving up his seat, although he’s showcasing his trophy back at home and even posted it on Instagram.
“I wasn’t expecting this,” Barksdale said. “It’s just doing the right thing.”