One of the best defensive players in the National Football League (NFL) is Philadelphia Eagles legend Reggie White. Before retiring in 2000, the Tennessee Volunteers alumni played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers, and Carolina Panthers during his extensive NFL career.
The sudden death of Reggie White, a few weeks shy of turning 43, has brought attention to the potentially dangerous consequences of obstructive sleep apnea and related breathing disorders.
Reggie White played professional football for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Green Bay Packers. In his final season as a defensive end, White won two NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards. He also held the NFL record for quarterback sacks when he retired in 2000.
He was dubbed “The Minister of Defense” during his playing career; however, since he founded Christian Athletes United for Spiritual Empowerment off the field, the moniker gained new significance.
Similar to two other Philadelphia sports legends, Kobe Bryant and Roy Halladay, White didn’t seen his own Hall of Fame induction, which took place in 2006.
What happened to Reggie White? Is he alive?
Reggie White has died because of a respiratory disease combined with other health problems, a preliminary NFL autopsy report said.
White most likely suffered from a condition that limited the amount of air his lungs could hold, leading to “fatal cardiac arrhythmia,” according to forensic pathologist and Mecklenburg County medical examiner Dr. Mike Sullivan.
Sullivan’s office report also mentioned sleep apnea as a potential contributing factor.
According to Sullivan’s office, the report is preliminary and it may take up to three months to determine the cause of death.
White was taken from his nearby Cornelius home to Presbyterian Hospital in Huntersville, where he passed away on December 26, 2004. His wife, Sara, called 911.
Sarcoidosis was the illness that White suffered from for several years, according to family spokesman Keith Johnson. He explained that it was a respiratory condition that kept him up at night.
This disease killed a man who had earned the respect of other NFL players both on and off the field.
Following White’s passing, Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre said, “He may have been the best player I have ever seen and certainly was the best I have ever played with or against.”
“Off the field, he made a great deal of difference for a lot of people. He was a great friend on and off the field. We’ll all miss him.”
Sara White said in a statement on Dec. 26: “Today my beloved husband and friend passed away. Reggie has died, and his family is grateful for your prayers and condolences. We would like to express our gratitude in advance for protecting our privacy.
Within a gated community, a police officer prevented a reporter from approaching White’s Tudor-style home.
A two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and ordained minister known as the “Minister of Defense,” White played 15 seasons with Philadelphia, Green Bay, and Carolina. He retired after the 2000 season as the NFL’s career sack leader with 198. Bruce Smith has since surpassed the mark.
Jeremy, a freshman at Elon University, and Jecolia, a junior in high school, are White’s and his wife’s children.
Green Bay acquired White in 1993 as a free agent, paying him $17 million over four years. His signing and a trade for Favre helped make the Packers champions again.
That is what turned this franchise’s football fortunes around. It was enormous, according to Packers President Bob Harlan. “He conveyed to the other players in the NFL that Green Bay was an excellent place to play.”
The Packers won their first three Super Bowls, including one over New England in 1997 in which White recorded the most Super Bowl sacks ever. This American professional footballer had a net worth of $6 million.