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  • jay

    Seriously…no Hank Gathers? No Pete Maravich?

  • Jason

    Yeah, Gathers was clearly the poster boy for dying while playing until Earnhardt did it. Those should have been the top 2.

  • Diana

    no Korey Stringer? And so many people have died from boxing matches and auto races, it really doesn't seem that unusual to me.

  • Biff

    Neat site. Interesting article. And auto racing is not a sport; race car drivers are not necessarily athletes.

    • krazykritik

      Oh I am so sick of hearing fools say race car drivers "are not athletes". Do you know what kind of g-force they endure over 3-4 hours. Or the amount of fitness they partake in so their hearts can handle 170 beats a minute? Have you ever driven at regular speeds to take a 500 – 600 mile trip in 8 – 10 hours? When you arrive you're often so exhausted you can hardly pull yourself out of the vehicles.

      The tests and research have be done and they all say that race car drivers are not only athletes, but are some of the best trained of any sport.

      So close your cakehole and do the research yourself before you start flapping about something you obviously know NOTHING about.

      • adhd

        So according to your sister marrying logic astronauts are athletes too then. LMAO.

        • cardiovascular

          actually they train extensively for the physical and mental strain

  • Hi, Biff. Thanks for the compliments, I'm glad you like the site. While I agree racing is not a sport, many others disagree with you and I. Maybe this question should be on the list of arguments you can't win? And if you ever want to volunteer to edit, I will accept it willingly.

  • C.B.

    Pretty good list. I have to agree that Hank Gathers should've been on this list, and in terms of boxers, I think maybe Benny "the Kid" Paret and Duk-Koo Kim probably should have at least made honorable mention.

  • Biff

    Nice to hear from you, Top Tenz. Thank you for being so open to our comments, as well as for your willingness to take a little criticism. I do think you've got a fun site here. I'll probably be checking this place out for a few hours, and if the opportunity arises, I look forward to hearing from you again. Take care, my friend. And thanks for the interesting time-killers.



    I thought Pete Mavarich died after he retired. He wasn't active in the league when he died.

  • Ashley

    Hoorks, I believe you are correct. I wrote this list, and I tried to stick to PRO athletes. And whether you see auto racing as a sport, that's all your opinion. Of course some people should have been added to the list, but it's hard to pick just 10.

    Thanks for reading.

  • ERT

    What about Aiton Zena or, Antonio Puerta.

  • While auto racing is a sport, it is NOT an athletic sport. That would be like calling chess players athletes. There are lots of competitive sports that do not require participants to be athletic. Poker is another example. I appreciate that it is just semantics, but "sport" and "athlete" are not synonymous.

  • PFA

    Dale Earnhardt? Have you ever heard about Ayrton Senna? Pickles is right, Auto Racing is not an athletic sport, but in Auto Racing the only legend that died while playing (racing), is Senna!

    Note: Earnhardt is only known in the U.S while Senna is known (very well) Worldwide!

  • hagsfdv

    Exactly right PFA.

  • MikeV

    If you're going to put Dale Eanhardt and Scott Brayton for auto racing, then include some drag racers like Scott Kalitta, who was killed the summer of 2008 when his car exploded at the end of the quarter mile. There are other drag racers as well who died doing what they loved, just drag racing doesn't get the attention of NASCAR or othe motor sports.

  • JasonM

    George Boiardi was a defensemen who played lacrosse for Cornell. In a game versus Binghamton he took a shot to the chest which put him into cardiac arrest which he died shortly after from.

  • John

    How can you be all American if you're a Canadian, playing a Canadian game, for a Canadian team in a Canadian team where there is no such thing as all American?

    • DJ

      He went to the University of Denver, where he was named to… wait for it… the All-American team!

  • Unanimous

    Roberto Clemente?

    • Mike

      Didn't die while playing, he was in a plane on a relief mission

  • Racing fan

    Silly list. Who in the world in Dale Earnheart? Nobody, compared to Ayrton Senna, thrice Formula 1 world champion and the fastest driver since Jim Clark, another phenomenon. These are silly lists made by Americans that can't think beyond their borders. None of these people would make it to an international list.

    • Then feel free to write a an international list and submit it.

    • John

      Maybe Earnhardt would.He was one of the best NASCAR drivers after Richard Petty

  • logan

    how about Ayrton Senna? one of the greatest F1 drivers ever? Dal Ernhardt only died cause he was too much of a redneck to and too much of a "man" to wear a hans device, and senna died on a course that wasn"t just the same 2 left turns over and over again.

  • Mauricio

    I remember seeing on the 2004 confederations soccer championship there was a match between Colombia and Cameroon.

    On the middle of the match, Marc Vivien Foe of Cameroon collapsed in the middle of the field and died. I saw this live, and seeing that man slowly dying was one of the most painful things I've seen on live TV… I remember the captain of Colombia screaming for help.

    It was the first time Colombia participated in a confederations cup. It was supposed to be a celebration, a thing of rememberance. It will be remembered, alright….

  • princessr

    Please change the name to American athletes. The rest of the world has no clue who the hell these people are.

    • st louie larry

      I’m American and I only know 4 of these people

  • Sergio

    So… you include two race car pilots no one outside Texas knows… and you fail to include Ayrton Senna???

  • Mark

    #7 Chuck Hughes set an impressive record with 17 RECEPTIONS vs AZ State, not 17 Interceptions.

  • Ken Kowalski

    Chuck Hughes set a record for 17 RECEPTIONS, not interceptions in a single game.

  • jordan

    how is aryton senna not included??????????????????????????????????????

  • Delta

    Dale Earnhardt died because he refuse to wear a safety device that was recently developed and proven to work.

  • Megan

    There are a few big names who are missing. Hank Gathers is the first that comes to mind. Even though I’m American I know there are a LOT of soccer players abroad who have died on the pitch of fatal heart attacks. There was recently a Greek (I believe) volleyball player who died.

  • UnclePonyboy

    The article is called 10 Athletes That Died While Playing… not TOP 10 Athletes. If they were choosing the best athletes to ever die while playing a sport, this list would likely be much different. Why does everyone have to complain about such minor details?

  • Marc

    A list about fallen sportsmen without including Ayrton Senna is simply a joke. His was the most shoking death in auto racing and perhaps in sports overall.

  • jake

    what about marc vivian foe? or owen hart

  • JJ

    If I recall correctly the same year Earnhardt crashed into that wall in the Daytona 500 NFL offensive tackle Korey Stringer died in Vikings camp of heatstroke complications.

  • Sam

    I can’t believe there’s no football in here – the proper football.

  • SJ

    You should proof read before posting. Spell check doesn’t catch everything.

    • Shell Harris

      You should too. Proofread is one word. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.