On Saturday, the NFL community was dealt an untimely reminder about the fragility of life, as former Washington Commanders quarterback Dwayne Haskins was tragically killed after he was struck by an oncoming vehicle while trying to cross the westbound lanes of I-95 in South Florida.
Just 24 years old, Haskins was in South Florida practicing with his Steelers teammates in preparation of the team’s offseason workout program.
Unfortunately, the news of Haskins’ passing was met with highly insensitive reactions from ESPN insider Adam Shefter, who highlighted Haskins’ “struggles” in the NFL in the tweet he posted to break the news, and Hall of Fame exec Gil Brandt, who stated during a radio interview that Haskins was “living to die” and that the tragedy could have been prevented had he stayed in school a little longer.
During a time that should’ve been spent mourning and celebrating the compassionate soul Haskins was, Schefter and Brandt regrettably lacked empathy and painted Haskins in an unflattering light moments after his passing.
But let’s not give that duo the light of day. After all, the majority of the NFL world took to mourning after the tragedy.
From Commanders’ brass, including Dan and Tanya Snyder, head coach Ron Rivera, president Jason Wright, current and former teammates, and stars around the league, there was no shortage of reactions to the heartbreaking news.
The NFL world and Commanders braintrust reacted after former Washington QB Dwayne Haskins passed away on Saturday.
In addition to the Snyder’s, president Jason Wright said the following in a heartfelt tweet directed at Haskins’ loved ones.
"Dwayne was a young man of great intellect who cared deeply about his loved ones & the world. Praying for his wife, parents & all who knew him as we grieve the loss of the man & the impact he was poised to have on society with his unique gifts. May grace cover the sting of death."
Former Washington teammate Antonio Gibson was next up in a long list of players and coaches who sent their condolences.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin released a statement, saying he was devastated and called Haskins one of the team’s “hardest workers, both on the field and in our community.” Tomlin’s reaction was followed by Defensive Player of the Year TJ Watt recalling Haskins’ habit of making people smile.
Though Haskins only signed for Pittsburgh in 2021, Tomlin and Watt’s gutting reactions just speak to the kind of human Haskins was.
If you remember, Joe Burrow and Haskins competed for the starting job at Ohio State before Burrow transferred to LSU. The ascending Bengals superstar shared a video of him and Haskins embracing after a Bengals-Steelers game.
Fellow former Buckeye and current Saints receiver Michael Thomas was among those whom publicly mourned Haskins’ death.
Haskins’ former college coach Urban Meyer penned an emotional tweet, too.
Like so many players and coaches, former Washington offensive coordinator and newly-minted Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell is at a loss for words.
We could be here for hours relaying all of the messages. Just know there were too many to keep track of.
It’s an excruciating time for NFL players, media and fans, but we can’t even fathom what Haskins’ loved ones are going through. Like countless others, we send our sincerest condolences to Haskins’ family and everyone impacted by this tragedy.