After a long battle with a rare, congenital condition called arteriovenous malformation (AVM), former linebacker for the Oakland Raiders, Neiron Ball, has passed away. He played two years in Oakland before he was waived by the team. He never made his way to another NFL roster, mostly because of the AVM. He finished his career with five combined tackles and one fumble recovery. He was in a medically induced coma since December of 2018 due to a brain aneurysm.
Ball’s family had posted a GoFundMe page to help pay for his medical bills and beat their goal of $100,000. Many players across the NFL donated to his page, including a $10,000 donation from Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed. Ball played college football for the Florida Gators and those ties ran deep as many alumni donated to the cause. Raider Nation will also mourn Ball’s death, but there’s one player for the team who will take his death the hardest.
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Raiders’ Trent Brown Mourns the Death of Neiron Ball
Trent Brown was one of the biggest offseason additions for the Raiders and he dedicated his time played in Oakland to Neiron Ball.
“[Ball and I] became roommates in both of our last year’s [at Florida] and from there, we just became an unbreakable bond,” said Brown back when the Raiders first signed him before Ball had passed. “Love him to death. It’s been a tough time. I’m trying to cope with it, but coming here, kinda helping close a chapter for him and also my self. I feel like there’s no better opportunity.”
The two played college football together and both started their NFL careers in the Bay Area. While Brown was in the middle of celebrating a Monday Night Football win, he was given the devastating news Tuesday morning of Ball’s death and took to Twitter to react.
“Some tears you just don’t be prepared for…” tweeted Brown.
Brown has also taken to his Instagram page to post many tributes to his recently deceased friend. By all accounts, Ball was a model player and teammate. He was just 27-years old.
“He is definitely a man that is worthy of our help,” said Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said about Ball’s fight, previously. “He’s in tough space. I want to encourage everybody that this is one of those guys that’s really worthy of that. …(share his story) to help get him some funds to get him the best treatment that we can.”
“I heard his story there a little bit, but I heard it more recently about everything that he’s been through and that he’s going through,” Keanu Neal said before his passing. “It’s heartbreaking for someone who’s such a good dude, such a great dude to go through something like that. We are just trying to raise awareness and shine a bright light on the situation because he’s worthy of it and deserves to get through this. He’s fighting.”
The NFL lost a great man and any help his family may need in a subsequent GoFundMe would be a worthy cause to donate to.