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Many Black men grew up with a morbid understanding, often passed down amongst family members, that living past the age of 25 is somehow a luxury that half won’t get a chance to experience — police brutality, gang violence and drug abuse are just some of the fatal plights against our brothers.

Sadly there’s also the unfortunate and unpredictable circumstance of accidental death, which Arizona Cardinals cornerback Jeff Gladney has succumbed to after a fatal car crash on Monday morning (May 30) in Dallas, Texas.

 

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Reports say that Gladney was one of two people — the second is believed to be 26-year-old girlfriend Mercedes Palacios — in the early AM accident that was placed at occurring around 2:30 AM. An investigation is still underway, but preliminary reports suggest a white vehicle was speeding and managed to clip a second vehicle from behind. The man and woman in the other car were reportedly not injured.

More details surrounding Gladney’s career circumstances leading up to his tragic passing below, via CNN:

“Gladney was entering the third season of his NFL career, after playing college football at Texas Christian University. The Minnesota Vikings drafted him as a first-round pick in 2020, but the team released him ahead of the 2021 season after he was indicted on charges of felony assault, according to the NFL’s website.

Gladney was found not guilty in the incident, and the Cardinals signed him to a two-year contract in March 2022. He had recently been training with the team during the NFL’s organized team practices.

‘We are devastated to learn of Jeff Gladney’s passing,’ the Cardinals tweeted Monday. ‘Our hearts go out to his family, friends and all who are mourning this tremendous loss.’

The Vikings also released a statement, saying they were saddened by Gladney’s death.

‘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,’ the team’s’ statement read.”

 

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Many have been expressing their condolences, including past teammates and others within the NFL network that respected his skills on the field and saw so much more in his career as a professional football player.

Rest in peace, family.

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