New England Patriots star James White missed their defeat to the Seattle Seahawks after being hit by family tragedy on Sunday.
White’s father was killed in a car crash which left his mother in a critical condition in hospital just hours before the running back was due to line-up against the Seahawks.
Broward County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office confirmed in a news release that Tyrone white died in a car crash at around 1pm ET in Cooper City Florida.
Deputies arrived at the scene and found two crashed cars, one flipped over and another on fire, as firefighters extinguished the blaze and an air rescue team took two people to hospital.
They confirmed that White, a captain with the Miami-Dade Police Department, was pronounced dead at the scene.
It was then reported by NBC that White’s mother, Lisa, is in a critical condition after Miami-Dade Police Department director Alfredo Ramirez III conformed she was one of those hospitalised.
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft reportedly offered to fly White to Miami but he opted to return home with the team after their 35-30 defeat.
White was inactive for the game as he dealt with the shocking news but team-mates and rivals both sent their thoughts before, during and after the game.
Before the game, team-mates appeared to show support for their captain by huddling together.
And when Devin McCourty ran an interception back for a touchdown on the Seahawks’ first drive, he shouted “two eight, we love you bro” at the camera in reference to White’s jersey number.
“Our hearts are heavy for James,” McCourty said after the game.
“It’s just tough, man. There’s no words you can say. Just wanted to go out there and play our hearts out for him. It’s just devastating. I was heartbroken for him.”
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, a former team-mate at Wisconsin, tweeted his support ahead of the game.
Former teammate Tom Brady, now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, also tweeted his support.
Brady said: “So heartbroken to hear the news of the tragedy of my great friend and forever team-mate @SweetFeet_White.
“There are few people that come into your life that do EVERYTHING the right way…
“James is one of them. King, 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.”