James White, who tragically lost his father Tyrone in a car crash Sunday afternoon, put up a gripping Instagram post Tuesday, offering his first words since the crash that also seriously injured his mother, Lisa.
The Patriots running back had a message for his zone Xzavier, who turned 1.
White first wished his son Happy Birthday, before delivering a poignant message: “I hope I can be as good of a father to you as my father was to my brother and I! I still can’t quite process everything that’s going on right now but when I look at you, you give me life! May you Rest in Peace Dad, we miss you much already.”
At last report, White’s mother Lisa remains in critical condition after sustaining life-threatening injuries in the Florida crash that killed her husband.
In Foxboro, meanwhile, coaches and players continued to express condolences and support for White, one of the team’s offensive captains and most beloved players.
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels offered his support to the player who is nicknamed, “Sweet Feet.”
“We’ll be praying for him, and the entire White family, and offer them any and all support that we can as he goes through this situation,” said McDaniels.
The players also rallied around White, wanting him to know they were there for him.
Defensive back Jason McCourty, who said it was incredibly difficult playing a football game after learning what happened, wanted White to know the players had his back.
“It was rough. I think obviously for him, that’s something that’s very hard to deal with,” said McCourty. “I think as teammates, as friends, as brothers, you empathize.
“I know for me hearing that Sunday before the game, and it hurt,” McCourty went on. “Just imagining what he was going through, in that moment, you’re all the way across the country, not able to be there for his family, but just having to deal with something that major, it makes you kind of look at a football game, and it makes it seem pointless when you know somebody is going through that kind of loss, and that kind of devastation. I think for us as teammates, we just have to support him, and be there for him in whatever way possible, making sure he knows each and every one of us is there for him if there’s anything he needs.”
McCourty also talked about the challenge of knowing the right thing to do attempting to support their teammate.
“It’s been very hard, I think, for him, obviously, and guys trying to figure out how to rally around him,” he said, “and how to be there for him.”
McCourty talked about loss, and brought up how brother Devin has had to endure the loss of an unborn child, and how difficult that’s been.
“My brother went through a really tough loss this spring, and I don’t think that’s a loss that him or our family will ever get over,” said Jason. “But it’s a loss that you continue to carry around with you. I think for James right now, he’s going through the exact same thing. He’s dealing with loss, and that’s not the type of loss where you give it time, and you’re like, ‘Alright, I’ve moved on, I’m good.’ Those tears will be with him the rest of his life. They’ll dictate the relationship he has with his own kids, and I think it will continue to probably help him.”
McCourty mentioned White’s Instagram post, and how having a son will be a blessing. He also had a message for White.
“He has a son to look after, and the things his dad bestowed on him, I’m sure he’ll be eager and fired up to pass on to his next generation,” said McCourty. “So I think for all of us, you don’t get a chance to compartmentalize when loss hits so close to home. You just have to pick those tears up, bring them along with you to work, and everywhere you go and sometimes that can be motivation. Sometimes it’s going to be rough days … in this building, you have a group of people that are all moving in the same direction that want the best for you. You have people you can lean on, and that you can ask to be there for you. I think that’s the most important thing: as teammates and friends and brothers, we have to continue to be there for one another, to lift each other up.”
— Karen Guregian, Boston Herald