Grant Wahl, a renowned sports writer who elevated soccer in the United States, has died while covering the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. An autopsy in New York has determined he died from a “slowly growing, undetected ascending aortic aneurysm with hemopericardium,” according to his wife, Celine Gounder, who is a doctor.

Grant’s brother, Eric, originally took to Instagram to say he is gay and is the reason Wahl earlier during the tournament wore a rainbow shirt — to support his gay brother in Qatar, where it is illegal to be gay. Eric said he suspected foul play, but he now says that was a mistake.

Wahl had previously discussed not feeling 100% physically, so there could have been an underlying issue:

He had also said Qatari authorities stopped him for wearing an LGBT Pride rainbow shirt:

There has been a massive outpouring of reaction to Wahl’s death, including US Soccer:

Billie Jean King:

Abby Wambach:

Megan Rapinoe:

One of Wahl’s Sports Illustrated colleagues, Seth Davis:

Lebron James, who was featured by Wahl and SI on a magazine cover when he was a high school junior:

Soccer star Ali Krieger:

It has been incredible to see the outpouring of love for Wahl and his family. By every account, he stood up for the underrepresented and tried to give a voice to the voiceless. He was fired from Sports Illustrated allegedly for criticizing their plan to reduce pay during the COVID pandemic and elevated women and LGBTQ people.

He will be deeply missed.