Late Saturday, former NFL defensive end Will Smith was shot and killed in an apparent incident of road rage. As members of the sports world react to the news, the person who perhaps knew him the best has issued a heartfelt statement in response to the news.
“I am shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Will Smith, my close friend and client,” Segal said. “Will was loyal, tough, smart, caring and funny all at once. He was an amazing man whose true joy came from his special family. From my first meeting with Will at Ohio State to our business meetings, fun dinners and spirited and intelligent debates, he always treated me like family. My heart goes out to Will’s wife, Racquel, his children and entire family for this unimaginable loss. I love you, William. You will be missed and never ever forgotten.”
Segal represented Smith throughout his NFL career, nearly all of which was spent in New Orleans. He suffered a torn ACL during the 2013 preseason, was released early in 2014, and spent a brief period of time with the Patriots later that year.
The Saints and the Commissioner also have issued statements regarding Smith’s death.
“This is such a tragic loss of life,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “Our thoughts are with Will’s wife Racquel and their three children. He will be missed by many teammates and friends.”
“Our entire organization is deeply saddened and our condolences go out to Will’s wife, Racquel, their children and their entire family,’ Saints G.M. Mickey Loomis said. “Will came to New Orleans 12 years ago and quickly developed both on the field as a player and off the field as a leader to become one of the cornerstones of a team that would go on to win a Super Bowl. In our community he was an important contributor to numerous charitable causes to benefit those in need. Will’s contributions to both our franchise and our community as a whole will always be remembered.”
Coach Sean Payton called the death of Will Smith “senseless,” and indeed it was. Many other teammates, other NFL players, and people connected to the Saints, the NFL, and Ohio State have issued similar statements on social media and elsewhere.
Our prayers and thoughts are with Will Smith’s wife, children, family, teammates, coaches, colleagues, and friends.