The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission claimed that Walkes was unconscious and hospitalized after the two boats crashed Wednesday near the Miami Marine Stadium basin.
The state agency stated that Walkes operated one of the crashed boats.
Anton Walkes, a 25-year-old Charlotte FC player, died a day after being badly injured in a watercraft accident near Miami Marine Stadium, just north of Key Biscayne, Fla.
Thursday’s MLS team announced Walkes’ death. Walkes was found unconscious and given CPR by Miami Fire Rescue at about 3 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (via the Miami Herald). The state agency (through the Associated Press) reported that Walkes piloted one of the colliding boats.
Walkes was in South Florida since his Club had been in Fort Lauderdale since January 9 for a 12-day training camp to start off the 2023 preseason.
This news shocked everyone.
“Everyone at Tepper Sports & Entertainment is grieved by the untimely demise of Anton Walkes,” Charlotte FC owner David Tepper said. “He was a wonderful son, father, partner, and teammate whose cheerful attitude to life inspired everyone he encountered. Anton improved everyone around him and represented Charlotte FC well on and off the field. Anton will be missed, and we send our condolences to his family. The Club supports everyone throughout this time of mourning.”
Tottenham Hotspur signed 16-year-old Lewisham native Walkes. In 2017, he was loaned to League One Portsmouth and MLS Atlanta United after one appearance. Two seasons at Portsmouth and two in Atlanta United followed.
After being exposed for the 2021 expansion draft, Charlotte picked him up. He started 21 of 23 last season.
“We are devastated from the death of Anton Walkes, a genuinely amazing parent, caring guy and outstanding human being,” the Club’s sporting director, Zoran Krneta, said. “Anton personified Charlotte Football Club and our entire community is hurting over this loss. He changed the locker room and Charlotte forever. We are thinking about his wonderful family and will help them in every way.”
Saturday’s Charlotte FC-St. Louis City friendly was closed. The contest was cancelled, according to the AP.
“There are no words to explain the anguish of everyone in Major League Soccer today after learning of the untimely demise of Anton Walkes of Charlotte FC,” the league announced. “Anton was skilled and committed and adored by his colleagues and fans.”
Charlotte teammate Jaylin Lindsey said that the news crushed his heart. “Fly high my brother,” he wrote. Love you, guy.
Tottenham tweeted: “We are extremely saddened by the loss of former player, Anton Walkes. The Club’s prayers are with his family and friends at this tragic time.”
After playing for Tottenham and Portsmouth, Walkes joined Atlanta United in the MLS for three seasons.
MLS stated, “there are no words to explain the anguish of everyone in Major League Soccer today.”
The statement stated Anton was “talented and dedicated” and liked by his teammates and fans.
A boat collision near Miami Beach killed Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez in 2016. Authorities said Fernandez and two others perished after their 32-foot yacht hit a jetty.
Walkes’ death “heartbroken” Charlotte FC teammate Jaylin Lindsey.