SEATTLE — Patriots running back James White’s father, Tyrone, was killed in an automobile accident in South Florida on Sunday, the Broward Sheriff’s Office confirmed to the Globe.
Tyrone White was a captain with the Miami-Dade Police Department. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
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. Alfredo Ramirez, director of MDPD, said White’s mother, Lisa, was one of the two and remains in critical condition.
White was informed of the accident before kickoff and was inactive for Sunday night’s 35-30 loss to the Seahawks.
During NBC’s broadcast, sideline reporter Michelle Tafoya said Patriots owner Robert Kraft offered to fly White immediately to Miami, but White declined and elected to remain in Seattle. According to Tafoya, White did not report to CenturyLink Field for Sunday’s game. He plans to travel back to Massachusetts with the team.
“Our hearts go out to him,” coach Bill Belichick said.
After safety Devin McCourty intercepted Russell Wilson for a pick-six on Seattle’s opening drive, McCourty showed his support by going up to the camera to relay a message: “Two. Eight. We love you, bro. We love you.”
“Our hearts are heavy for James,” McCourty said after the game. “We wanted to play our hearts out for him.”
Wilson, who was college teammates with White at Wisconsin, sent condolences before the game and also took a moment during his walk-off interview to tell White he’s praying for him.
“My heart has been heavy all day thinking about him,” Wilson said. “The game was the game. This year has been a tough year as a whole, with people just going through so much. James, I’m praying for you, man, if you can hear me.”
Ex-Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was among those to express sympathy as well.
“So heartbroken to hear the news of the tragedy of my great friend and forever teammate, James White,” Brady tweeted. “There are few people that come into your life that do EVERYTHING the right way … 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.”
A Patriots captain and one of the most popular players on the team, White is one of the best receiving backs in the league.
“We’re so thankful and fortunate to have a guy like that,” said fellow captain Matthew Slater. “It hit us all in the heart. We were all struggling with that.”
Prior to kickoff, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and assistant coach Troy Brown huddled with running backs Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead, and J.J. Taylor in what appeared to be a very emotional moment.
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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