Many notable athletes ranging in age from 26 to their 70s had their last day on earth in 2017. Here are five athletes of color we lost in 2017.
Aaron Hernandez: The former New England Patriots tight end and All-American for the Florida Gators had a quick fall from grace, as he went from National Football League Super Bowl winner to inmate convicted of murder. Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence for killing Odin Lloyd, committed suicide in his jail cell on April 19. He was 27.
Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka: The high-flying World Wrestling Entertainment star known best for his “Superfly Splash” off the top ropes made a name for himself in the 1980s. Snuka was charged in a 1983 murder in September 2015. The charges were eventually dropped against the WWE Hall of Famer on Jan. 3, 2017, and Snuka, born James Wiley Smith, died 12 days later at 73.
Connie Hawkins: The Brooklyn-born basketball legend who was best known for his play on the Phoenix Suns was a four-time NBA All Star, member of the All-ABA team, and a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “The Hawk” died on October 6. He was 75.
Don Baylor: The Major League Baseball slugger was the American League Most Valuable Player in 1979 for the California Angels and was the National League Manager of the Year in 1995 with the Colorado Rockies. He died on Aug. 7. Baylor was 68.
Terry Glenn: The former National Football League wide receiver and Ohio State All-American was a first-round pick in the 1996 NFL Draft. Glenn had four 1,000+ yard receiving seasons. He died on Nov. 20 in a one-car accident after crashing into a concrete divider. He was not wearing a seat belt. Glenn was 43.
Other notable athletes we lost in 2017 include former NFL player Cortez Kennedy, who was 48; Major League Baseball star Roy Halladay, who was 40; WWE Hall of Famer Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, who was 73; former Boston Celtics player Fab Melo, who was 26; and boxing legend Jake LaMotta, who was 95.