Rest in peace. Arizona Cardinals athlete Jeff Gladney died in a car crash at the age of 25.
The team announced Gladney’s passing via Twitter on Monday, May 30, writing in a statement, “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.”
Brian Overstreet, the TCU alum’s agent, also confirmed the heartbreaking news to the Fort Worth Star Telegram, noting, “We are asking prayers for the family and privacy at this most difficult time.”
Gladney was one of two victims of the fatal accident in Dallas, along with an unidentified woman, according to local news outlet WFAA. The incident occurred in the early hours of Monday morning, and the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the cause of the crash. The vehicle was reportedly speeding and lost control after clipping a second car from behind.
“He was very loved by us all,” the NFL player’s cousin Sharonda Francois told WFAA. “He was an all-around good kid and his contagious smile is what he was known for. … He hosted football camps, he took care of our kids at family gatherings. I mean, money did not change him, he was still the same down to Earth cousin. He was just so well-loved.”
Tributes began pouring in from fellow athletes after news of Gladney’s death made headlines. The NFL tweeted on Monday that the organization wanted to “extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.”
Gladney recently signed a two-year contract with the Cardinals following his brief tenure with the Minnesota Vikings. “We are saddened by the tragic death of former Viking Jeff Gladney,” a Twitter statement from the Minneapolis-based team read. “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.”
NFL star Robert Griffin III reflected on the loss in a social media post of his own, writing, “Rest In Peace Jeff Gladney. The 25 year old cornerback for the Arizona Cardinals has passed away. So much life ahead of him. Send a prayer up for him, his family and friends after this tragic loss.”
JJ Watt, who signed with the Cardinals in March 2021, called Gladney’s passing “horrifying” and “tragic,” while fellow TCU alum Jalen Reagor tweeted, “Lost my Brother, my best friend, my right hand man… ain’t too much more I can take man damn! R.I.P Jeff Gladney, brother watch over me please.”
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