ATLANTA — After news broke that former Oakland Raiders linebacker Neiron Ball had died, the sports world took to social media offering condolences to his family and friends.
Ball's sister, Natalie Ball Myricks, released a statement announcing her brother's death early Tuesday. Ball's agency, the Sports & Entertainment Group in Washington, D.C., confirmed his death to The Associated Press.
The former Georgia high school standout who played college football at Florida after recovering from brain surgery was just 27 years old. His death came nearly a year after he suffered a brain aneurysm and was placed in a medically induced coma at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. In late July, the Ball family announced that the Georgia native was out of the coma but was a quadriplegic.
Prior to Ball's death, Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn pushed people to support the player while he was in the hospital. Back in July, Quinn asked people to help the Balls with a GoFundMe campaign created to raise funds for his medical expenses.
On Wednesday, he had a message for Ball's family.
"I want to let the family of Neiron Ball know they're in our thoughts," he said. "This guy fought courageously and we certainly will remember him for the fighter that he was."
Dozens of friends and fans on social media have said they are heartbroken by Ball's death.
The Associated Press contributed to this report