The Tragic Death Of NFL Star Jeff Gladney

Sports fans are mourning the tragic death of NFL star Jeff Gladney. The 25-year-old football player was killed in a car accident near Dallas, Texas, according to the Daily Mail. Officials told CBS News that "one vehicle was speeding and clipped the second vehicle from behind." Gladney was a football standout at Texas Christian University (TCU) before starting his NFL career with the Minnesota Vikings in 2020.

TCU athletics director Jeremiah Donati issued a statement to CBS News: "Our TCU Athletics family, and especially our football program, was very devastated to learn of the passing of Jeff Gladney." Donati's statement noted Gladney was a "frequent visitor" at the TCU campus, bringing his young son along. Donati said Gladney "will be missed by our entire community."

But after a successful NFL rookie year, an arrest derailed the young football player's dreams. Gladney was arrested in April 2021 after his girlfriend claimed he assaulted her, per the Daily Mail. According to TMZ, the Vikings cut Gladney after the assault arrest, and the case went to trial, with the football star sitting out the 2021 NFL season. Many of Gladney's fans are taking his death hard because his situation was especially tragic.

Jeff Gladney had just restarted his NFL career

Jeff Gladney's death feels particularly tragic because the football star had recently restarted his NFL career. The Daily Mail reported Gladney just signed with the Arizona Cardinals in April after he was acquitted of assaulting his girlfriend. Gladney started 15 games during his rookie year with the Vikings, and the 25-year-old was getting back on a path to a bright NFL future at the time of the car accident.

The Arizona Cardinals gave a statement to TMZ: "We are devastated to learn of Jeff Gladney's passing. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and all who are mourning this tremendous loss." Gladney's former team, the Minnesota Vikings, also issued a statement to the outlet: "We are saddened by the tragic death of former Viking Jeff Gladney. Our hearts go out to his family and friends, as well as the Arizona Cardinals organization and Jeff's current and former teammates and coaches who are mourning his life lost much too soon." As the football world mourns, his Arizona teammate J.J. Watt tweeted, "Horrifying news to hear this morning. Just tragic. Rest In Peace Jeff." The NFL tweeted, "The NFL family mourns the tragic loss of Jeff Gladney, and we extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones."

But a message from a fan seemed to sum up the overwhelming sentiment: "This is incredibly sad this kid was trying to find his way back. Man, this feels so tragic and unfair."