New England Patriots running back James White was on the minds of teammates and fans on Sunday night when he did not play in the game after learning his father died in a car crash in Florida earlier in the day.
White was inactive for New England's 35-30 loss to the Seattle Seahawks following a crash in Broward County at 1 p.m. on Sunday that claimed the life of his father, Miami-Dade police captain Tyrone White, and put two others in the hospital, according to NBC 6 in Florida.
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Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio announced the sad news on the broadcast before Sunday night's kickoff, and the Miami-Dade Police Department added that White's mother, Lisa, remains hospitalized following the crash. NBC Sports reported she is in critical condition.
The two-car crash resulted in one vehicle being flipped over and the other catching on fire, the Broward Sheriff's Office told NBC 6. Tyrone White was pronounced dead at the scene.
White's teammate, defensive back Devin McCourty, paid immediate tribute to him and his family after he intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown in the first quarter to give the Patriots an early lead.
"2-8! We love you bro!" McCourty yelled into the camera in the end zone after scoring.
White, 28, is in his seventh season with the Patriots after they selected him in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL draft. He was one of the heroes of New England's 34-28 comeback win over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI in 2017, scoring three touchdowns, including the game-winner, and setting a Super Bowl record with 14 catches.
White's former teammate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers star quarterback Tom Brady, tweeted his condolences on Sunday.
"So heartbroken to hear the news of the tragedy of my great friend and forever teammate @SweetFeet_White," he wrote. "There are few people that come into your life that do EVERYTHING the right way..."
"My heart is heavy because one of my teammates, James White, from Wisconsin, one of the nicest guys, best people I know," Wilson said. "My heart has been heavy all day thinking about him. The game was the game ... James, I'm praying for you."
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp also shared his condolences.
"My family and I also will be praying for James White and his family. No words...this brotherhood will be here for you," he tweeted.
White's father had been a member of the Miami-Dade police force since 1984 and coached his son's youth football and baseball teams, according to a 2019 ESPN story.
White told ESPN that his father "molded me into who I am today. Just hearing all the stories about the things not to do, and hearing about people they grew up with ... made me want to be on the right track."