September 20th, 2010
09:58 PM ET

Denver Broncos wide receiver dies

Kenny McKinley played in eight games for the Broncos as a rookie in the 2009 season.

Denver Broncos wide receiver Kenny McKinley has died, according to a statement released by the organization Monday. He was 23.

The NFL team hasn't released information about how McKinley died. Head coach Josh McDaniels will speak to the media at noon on Tuesday, the team said.

McKinley was selected by the Broncos in the fifth round (141st overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft from the University of South Carolina. He attended South Cobb High School in Austell, Georgia.

He played in eight games with the Broncos as a rookie, but was placed on injured reserve before the start of the 2010 season after suffering a knee injury, according to the team.

"Everyone with the Broncos is shocked and saddened by the loss of Kenny McKinley," Broncos President and CEO Pat Bowlen said in a statement on the Broncos' website. "He was part of the Broncos family and will be greatly missed by our organization. My most heartfelt condolences go out to Kenny's family and friends."

McKinley is at least the third Bronco to have died since 2007. Cornerback Darrent Williams, 24, was fatally shot near downtown Denver, Colorado, on Jan. 1., 2007, and running back Damien Nash, 24, died after collapsing at a charity basketball game later that winter.

Read full story on CNN.com

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Filed under: Colorado • Sports
soundoff (189 Responses)
  1. mike k

    Rasism would go away if you wouldn't bring it up

    September 20, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Prince Sakim

      What is rasism? Please tell me so I can avoid it.

      September 20, 2010 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. KP

    No, this had nothing to do with concussions and head injuries. I'm one of the medical staff who tests & clears players from an NFL team to return to practice (even lifting weights) and play. We are VERY conservative when it comes to concussions. There is NO evidence that this unfortunate player had concussions contributing to whatever led to his demise. However, ESPN, CNN, the NYT, and other media outlets will jump on this immediately to "sell" the idea that football creates brain damage which creates mental illness or depression. Schwarz et al. are mostly in this game for the notoriety, to sell papers, and hoping to win prizes for "exposing" concussions in the NFL. BS.

    September 20, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ralf the Dog

      Hits to the head do change peoples personality. Most times in a bad way. It does create depression. Getting a bunch of money that you don't know how to handle can also cause these kinds of problems.

      That said, this is not the NFL's fault. They do everything they can to protect players. I think regular FMRI's might be a good idea as well as mandatory counseling for all players.

      September 21, 2010 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
    • TBaugh

      DEAR MR KP,
      Please continue to educate yourself on the long term affects of concussions. While re-entering practice has one set of criteria, long term affects of brain trauma are being researched and new findings coming out daily. There's a reason you have a job evaluating the guys for return. Because old football guys are dieing off at an alarming rate due at least in part from head trauma. CTE is for real.. http://www.bu.edu/cste/news/ I hope that no player under your supervision dies as a result of your lack of education. Ignorance is no excuse. Denial of peer reviewed scientific research does not make you an expert. You cannot say with 100% certainty that head trauma had no relevance in Kenny's death. If CTE is present, it will be highly likely that it did have some affect on his behavior.
      TURN IN YOUR BADGE.. YOU'RE NOT QUALIFIED. Like previous longtime chairman of the N.F.L.’s research committee on concussions Dr. Elliot Pellman who resigned after being embarrassed by congress on his inaccuracies. You should not be making these kinds of judgements if you are not fully aware of the consequences. He resigned and so should you for making such bold and sweepingly inacturate statements. The NFL has made incredible strides and has even backed the support of the mission referenced above at BU.edu. I hope you improve your knowledge of the topic, regain some humanity, and understand that there are some things that go unanswered for years. We still don't know everything there is to know about the brain.. don't pretend you do.

      "KP

      No, this had nothing to do with concussions and head injuries. I'm one of the medical staff who tests & clears players from an NFL team to return to practice (even lifting weights) and play. We are VERY conservative when it comes to concussions. There is NO evidence that this unfortunate player had concussions contributing to whatever led to his demise. However, ESPN, CNN, the NYT, and other media outlets will jump on this immediately to "sell" the idea that football creates brain damage which creates mental illness or depression. Schwarz et al. are mostly in this game for the notoriety, to sell papers, and hoping to win prizes for "exposing" concussions in the NFL. BS"

      September 21, 2010 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jon

    Depression can strike anyone. I friend of mines was left a widower, left to raise a 3 year old child alone.
    I remember when I was flying back to Adak, Alaska there was a female that I was acqauinted with sitting
    behind me. I remember her telling me how unhappy she was having to return. I thought nothing of it because
    it seemed like something she would be over after being back for a few weeks. About 3 weeks later she turned
    a gun on herself in the Navy Armory where she worked and shot herself in the chest and died instantly. That
    haunted me for a while.

    September 20, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Reality

    As someone who has dealt with suicide in their family I'm saddened and shocked at the number of people who feel they can pass judgment on someone else. If you have not been through it, please reserve you opinion. Football player, male or female, and regardless of what his neighbor was or his color is not the point. Deepest sympathies to his family and friends. And for those of you passing judgment be thankful you've never had to dealt with a tragedy such as this–its absolutely devastating.

    September 20, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Cheryl

    Being a person who suffers from depression, I don't take kindly to the "coward" comment. We suffer constantly. I'm lucky enough to have a loud enough conscience that I listen to. Most people don't listen and that's when the thoughts of suicide win. I get stressed easily. Cleaning the house has brought on depression and despairing feelings. Taking care of my son has made me feel worthless at times. But I move passed those feelings with my own strenghth and the help of medication. I feel greatly for his family and teammates. "Why?" is going to haunt their minds.

    September 20, 2010 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • ladylike

      @Cheryl..........Well said, and I hope you are okay most of the time. 🙂

      September 20, 2010 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • ladylike

      Numbaoneballa:
      YOU'RE AN IDIOT.....

      September 20, 2010 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • AKC

      I would have been more prone to agree with you if you had not said that you had a loud enough conscience to get you through. That statement so much implies that he was weak. You should know that this is much more complex than what your conscience is saying. It is one thing to share your experience, but another to in anyway judge him.

      September 21, 2010 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Ralf the Dog

      You are wrong, Numbaoneballa is not a moron. That gives morons a bad name.

      September 21, 2010 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
    • j

      Hate to say it, but I kinda agree with Numb-nuts on this one.

      September 21, 2010 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  6. mmswood

    Yes I have been with, around ppl who have committed suicide so u can take that bulls**t ur talking and take it somewhere else. You have ur opinion so leave it at that without saying what others have and haven't been around. That's what some ppl do for a living; help ppl that have mental illnesses, I am one of them ppl so have some RESPECT!!

    September 20, 2010 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jenny

    I hope all of u who think depression is easy to get rid of....would live a day with it. Its horrible!!! Bless him and his family..

    September 20, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • AKC

      Agreed

      September 21, 2010 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  8. Maintainin

    Black folks can get depression, too. Quit with the dumb comments.

    September 20, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JESSE

    Agreed "service" doesn't mean squat anymore...there is no honorable fight when your government is as shady as the US government

    September 20, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Deepwater805

    Rest in peace Kenny. God speed your family, and your team mates to a healed broken heart.

    September 20, 2010 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. kim

    Wow, some ppl NEVER seem to amaze me. How dare you all say such hateful things abt a man who just passed away.

    September 20, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Prince Sakim

      What do you say about someone that blows his own brains out? He killed himself. He took his own life. He, He, He,. He didn't think his life was worth living...so he is fair game for jokes. Someone tell why I should show this nothing respect.

      September 21, 2010 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
    • AKC

      @Prince. Obviously, you have never been around anyone who has been suicidal or has committed suicide. If you had, you would not have such a self-centered reaction. Plus, why do you care if someone else wants to offer condolences or share their own experiences with something like this?

      September 21, 2010 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
  12. ladylike

    OMG! I live in Denver and love the Broncos. What a tragedy – his parents must be devastated and shocked. If he was depressed, at only 23, poor guy. Heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and his Broncos. RIP Kenny.

    September 20, 2010 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Debra

    Poor thing 😦

    so young

    September 20, 2010 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jonny

    Why are so many YOUNG football players dropping dead lately?

    Something shady is going on, for a change.

    September 20, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. justin

    I'm sorry, I just have no sympathy for a man who takes his own life with the cowardly act of suicide. Way to leave your young child fatherless.

    September 20, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
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