Patriots running back James White’s father, Tyrone, was killed in an automobile accident in South Florida on Sunday, according to multiple reports.
Tyrone White, who was a captain with the Miami-Dade Police Department, was reported dead on the scene. James White’s mother, Lisa, was also in the car and is in critical condition.
The Broward Sheriff’s office said in a statement that two victims were transported via air to the hospital after the accident in Cooper City, southwest of Fort Lauderdale, according to The Boston Globe.
White was informed of the accident and was inactive for Sunday night’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. On NBC, reporter Michele Tafoya said Patriots owner Robert Kraft offered to fly White to Florida, but he elected to fly home with the team. He’s not believed to be at the stadium.
A Patriots captain and one of the most popular players on the team, White is widely regarded as one of the best receiving backs in the league. He’s a three-time Super Bowl champion and a member of the franchise’s all-decade team.
Tom Brady reacted on Twitter, saying that he’s “so heartbroken” for White. “There are few people that come into your life that do EVERYTHING the right way,” Brady wrote. “James is one of them. Kind, gentle, loving, fiercely competitive and hardworking. His parents raised an amazing son. And we are all grieving with James as he is going through this difficult time. Love you my friend.”
James is one of them. Kind, gentle, loving, fiercely competitive and hardworking. His parents raised an amazing son. And we are all grieving with James as he is going through this difficult time. Love you my friend
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) September 21, 2020
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson also tweeted his support for White an hour before kickoff.
Praying for you bro @SweetFeet_White 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) September 20, 2020
According to Jim McBride of The Boston Globe, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and running backs and kick returners coach Troy Brown huddled with running backs Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead, and J.J. Taylor before the game in what appeared to be a “very emotional moment” as they collectively coped with the news.
When Devin McCourty provided a pick-six early in the first quarter, he said “2-8, we love you, bro!” into the microphone.
Devin McCourty honored teammate James White, who tragically lost his father in a car accident today. His mother is in critical condition. Sending love to the White family. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/FTTJFk477s
— NFL (@NFL) September 21, 2020
Mark Daniels, who covers the Patriots for The Providence Journal, said Tyrone was James’s first football coach, yet James didn’t earn a starting nod on the team Tyrone coached.
“I think when you grow up in that system, when you’re not larger than the team, when you’re not larger than anyone individual on the team, you learn how to be a team player and do what else you need to do to get a win,” Tyrone told Daniels in 2017.
It’s been a tragic week for the Patriots family, with the death of coach Bill Belichick’s mother, Jeannette, last Monday and Belichick’s longtime girlfriend, Linda Holliday, losing her father, days later.
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