Former star NFL wide receiver Vincent Jackson, who played for both the San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was found dead in a Florida hotel room on Monday at the age of 38, The Daily Caller reported.
The cause of Jackson’s untimely death remains unknown at this time. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the county Medical Examiner’s Office, is conducting an investigation into what occurred.
According to ESPN, Jackson, a resident of Tampa, had been reported as missing by concerned family members on Feb. 11, only to be found by sheriff’s deputies the next day at a hotel in Brandon, Florida. The missing person report was then canceled after deputies had determined that Jackson was alive and well.
However, he was then discovered deceased Monday morning by hotel staff. There were reportedly “no apparent signs of trauma” in his death and the investigation involving both the sheriff and medical examiner was immediately launched.
It was further revealed by the hotel that Jackson had been living there since Jan. 11, though it remains unclear why.
The news of Jackson’s death immediately spurred an outpouring of condolences over his unexpected loss from his former friends and teammates in the league, as well as from the Tampa community that had cherished him as a star and philanthropist who had given back so much, especially to the families of military veterans.
Local Tampa Fox affiliate WTVT reported that the Buccaneers released a statement expressing how “shocked and saddened” the team was to learn the devastating news and offered its “deepest condolences” to Jackson’s wife and family.
“During his five seasons with our franchise, Vincent was a consummate professional, who took a great deal of pride in his performance on and off the football field,” the statement read. “Vincent was a dedicated father, husband, businessman, and philanthropist, who made a deep impact on our community through his unyielding advocacy for military families, supported by the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation.”
Devoted to helping military families
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement, “Mr. Jackson was a devoted man who put his family and community above everything else. Football aside, he touched countless lives through his Jackson In Action 83 Foundation.”
“We shared a passion for supporting military families, and three years ago, Jackson was even made an honorary deputy by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office to recognize his dedication to the community,” the sheriff added.
Statements of condolences were also issued by Jackson’s own foundation, the NFL, the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, the Tampa mayor, and other notable figures from the Tampa area who had known Jackson personally and were involved with Jackson’s activities both on and off the field.
He will most certainly be missed, and hopefully the investigation into the circumstances of his unanticipated death will quickly be determined and shared with the public.