The NFL community has lost a well-known figure. Stephen White, known particularly for his time as a Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defensive end from 1996-2001 and then for his post-football career as a prolific writer for JoeBucsFan, SB Nation, and elsewhere, has passed away at 48. White’s former road roommate with Tampa Bay, Tyoka Jackson, shared that news Tuesday night:
#RIP to my road game roommate @sgw94. My condolences go out to his wife, children, family and friends. The memories, the fun, the conversations will never be forgotten. ??
— Tyoka Jackson (@Tyknowsfootball) August 31, 2022
JoeBucsFan columnist and long-time Buccaneers writer Ira Kaufman confirmed the news. This came after White posted on Twitter in April about how a long battle with chronic lymphocytic leukemia had led to him checking into Moffitt Cancer Center for a bone-marrow transplant:
Hi. Many of you know that I have been dealing with a cancer (CLL) diagnosis over the last 8 years. I am now at a point where I need to go through a bone marrow transplant. It is something I knew would eventually have to happen since 2017 and now that day is actually here.
— Stephen White (@sgw94) April 6, 2022
White played college football for Tennessee, then was drafted in the sixth round by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1996. He wound up with Tampa Bay that year and played for the Buccaneers through 2001 before spending his final NFL season with the New York Jets in 2002. Many of White’s former teammates had tributes for him, including fellow defensive lineman Warren Sapp, who told Rick Stroud of The Tampa Bay Times White was among the best Buccaneers’ teammates he had:
“He was the best,” Sapp said. “Smart, tough and willing to listen.”
RIP Steve White #94 in your Program but #1 in Our hearts!! #SmartToughAndGreatMan #DLine pic.twitter.com/8XWISRONbA
— Warren Sapp (@WarrenSapp) August 31, 2022
Other players chimed in as well:
Just heard my former teammate @sgw94 passed away. Condolences to his family and loved ones. Always had am encouraging word for me when I was a young player with the @Buccaneers
— shaun king (@realshaunking) August 31, 2022
Rest In Peace, my guy Steve White(@sgw94). I was just doing some scrolling of the conversations we had off the TL. Steve was one of the very few guys from this app, I could really talk football with. Not just on the field stuff, but all the things surrounding the game. Because,
— FOST (@GeorgeFoster72) August 31, 2022
But White was also well-known for what he did after his playing career. He wrote columns for JoeBucsFan in 2009 and 2010, and he wrote an incredible amount of NFL pieces (63 pages of archives) for SB Nation from 2013-2020, with many of those being detailed tape breakdowns on individual players. He did some further writing after that, including a detailed Bucs-Chiefs Super Bowl piece on his Medium page in 2021. He also regularly appeared on Tampa radio stations to talk about the NFL, and was an insightful NFL commentator on Twitter as well. Many who knew him from his media work offered tributes Tuesday and Wednesday:
Stephen White was one of the smartest people I followed here, and an excellent guest when we were fortunate enough to have him. Excellent on football, but a fascinating guy in general. Gone way too soon. R.I.P. https://t.co/hvHb1NQtx6
— Heath Cline (@heathradio) August 31, 2022
Steve White was one of the most brilliant dudes, y’all. I’m so goddamn sad.
— BUM CHILLUPS AKA SPENCER HALL (@edsbs) August 31, 2022
steve was a good man. simplest, most succinct and most accurate way i could put it.
and to answer many of your questions: he blocked you cuz he ain't take chances with the faintest possibility of stupid. i mean the faintest.
— bomani (@bomani_jones) August 31, 2022
This is heartbreaking news. Stephen White was not just a former NFL player with the Buccaneers but a wonderful, funny, and insightful @SBNationNFL columnist for several years. https://t.co/NTncvXggI9
— Field Gulls (@FieldGulls) August 31, 2022
Oh man, this is terrible. I had reached out to Stephen White a couple times to get some insight as a former player. Always welcome to help.
— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) August 31, 2022
This is so devastating. One of the best reads on @SBNationNFL over the years.
RIP Stephen White. https://t.co/JOv9T4QHHl
— Mookie Alexander (@mookiealexander) August 31, 2022
RIP @sgw94. This was the best thing I read during the whole Super Bowl run
What The Bucs Need To Do To Win. When I started watching film in… | by Stephen White Sr. | Medium https://t.co/4hm9lNxenN
— ScottyByNorfolk (@ScottyByNorfolk) August 31, 2022
White will be missed by many throughout the football world. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.
[JoeBucsFan; image from Stephen White on Twitter]