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Pro soccer player Anton Walkes, 25, killed in Florida boat crash

Professional soccer player Anton Walkes was killed in a boating crash in Miami, authorities said Thursday. His MLS team Charlotte FC confirmed the 25-year-old defender's death in a statement. 

"We are deeply saddened to share that Anton Walkes has tragically passed away this morning," the club announced. "May he rest in peace." 

Charlotte FC v Philadelphia Union
Charlotte FC's Anton Walkes passes the ball against Philadelphia Union at Subaru Park on April 02, 2022 in Chester, Pennsylvania. Timothy Nwachukwu / Getty Images

Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said officers responded to a two-vessel accident near the Miami Marine Stadium basin on Wednesday afternoon. Walkes was identified as one of the operators of the boats, FWC said, and he was found unconscious. 

Walkes was taken to a local hospital where he later died from his injuries, FWC said. Officials did not reveal any details about the other boat involved in the accident.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing. 

Walkes' teammates and his former clubs expressed grief over his death on social media.

Charlotte FC owner David Tepper called Walkes a "tremendous son, father, partner and teammate whose joyous approach to life touched everyone he met." The team's sporting director Zoran Krneta said his impact "will never be forgotten." 

Teammate Brandt Bronico said he's "absolutely heartbroken." 

"Thanks for being such a great teammate, friend, leader, and person. Rest easy brother," Bronico tweeted. 

His former club, Atlanta United FC, said Walkes was the "epitome of a great teammate with a personality that lit up every room he entered." He was part of the team's inaugural season in 2017. 

The MLS expressed condolences to his loved ones, and said they will help his family and teammates with the resources they need following his death. 

"There are no words to describe the sorrow of everyone in Major League Soccer today after learning of the tragic passing of Anton Wilkes of Charlotte FC," the league said. "Anton was a talented and dedicated player who was loved by his teammate and fans." 

Walkes was born in England and began his career playing with the Tottenham Hotspurs. The Hotspurs said they will honor him during their Thursday match against Manchester City, with black armbands. 

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