Former Detroit Lions safety William White has died after a six-year battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the team announced.
White, who was 56, played for six seasons in Detroit after being drafted in the fourth round of the 1988 NFL draft out of Ohio State.
“I loved William,” Lions special assistant to president/CEO Chris Spielman said in a statement. “We shared experiences of joy and sorrow on and off the field. He was and always will be my brother. I am forever grateful for the special moment last year when he was able to be by my side during the Pride of the Lions ceremony at Ford Field. I can’t wait to see him again when he will be free from ALS. May God’s peace rest upon his family.”
White also spent three seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and two with the Atlanta Falcons. In his last season with Atlanta, he helped the Falcons on their way to the Super Bowl, intercepting two passes in the Divisional Playoff and totaling a team-high nine tackles in the Super Bowl 33 loss to the Denver Broncos.
White, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2016, finished his career playing in 170 games and intercepting 20 passes.