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William White, who spent six years as a veteran NFL safety Detroit Lions, the team announced Thursday, has died after a six-year battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He is 56.

White, who was diagnosed with the condition in 2016, was originally drafted by the Lions out of Ohio State in the fourth round of the 1988 NFL Draft. Also played for Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons, During that time he appeared in Super Bowl XXXIII.

Former Detroit Lions player William White is shown during a Pride of Lions celebration during halftime of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Ford Field in Detroit on Oct. 31, 2021.

Former Detroit Lions player William White is shown during a Pride of Lions celebration during halftime of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Ford Field in Detroit on Oct. 31, 2021.
(Ray Del Rio/Getty Images)

“I loved William,” Lions special assistant to the president/CEO Chris Spielman said in a statement. “We’ve shared experiences of joy and sorrow on and off the field. He’s always and always been a brother to me.”

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“I’m forever grateful for the special moment he was able to be by my side at last year’s Pride of the Lions celebration at Ford Field,” he continued. “I can’t wait to see him again when he is free from ALS. God bless his family.”

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William White, defensive back for the Kansas City Chiefs during a game against the New York Giants on September 10, 1995 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

William White, defensive back for the Kansas City Chiefs during a game against the New York Giants on September 10, 1995 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
(Jonathan Daniel/Allsport/Getty Images)

White recorded 20 interceptions and 721 tackles in 170 games during his NFL career.

“I think any time you’re part of this profession, this fraternity, and you hear news like that — it hits hard.” Lions head coach Dan Campbell He told reporters on Friday. “We are thinking of him and his family.”

Detroit Lions players Chris Spielman, left, both embrace William White during a Pride of the Lions celebration during halftime of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Ford Field in Detroit on Oct. 31, 2021.

Detroit Lions players Chris Spielman, left, both embrace William White during a Pride of the Lions celebration during halftime of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Ford Field in Detroit on Oct. 31, 2021.
(Ray Del Rio/Getty Images)

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Ohio State Gene Smith, senior vice president and Wolf Foundation Endowed Athletic Director, also shared his condolences on Twitter:

“RIP William White. Great man and Bucky. Thanks for all you’ve given us!”