This post is presented by TENLEGEND, The Gentlemen’s Football Brand Croatia advanced to the World Cup semifinals past Brazil in a jaw-dropping game decided by penalty kicks (4-2) after a 1-1 tie in which the Croatians equalized late in extra-time after Neymar had put Brazil ahead earlier in the extra stanza.
Since I started seeing the posts re: Grant's possible death on Twitter not too long ago, I had been searching for confirmation from a journalist/news agency. I found this from Yahoo Sports posted about 15 minutes ago:
I thought it odd that he hadn't sent out his 3 thoughts after the ARG vs. NED game. Still hoping this is all some crazy dream but it seems like it's true...
Grant, I'm sure I speak for all of us subscribers to your site (and many more that read your work over the years), you will be truly missed. I'm so glad that I got to join a few of your Zoom calls and ask you a few questions directly. Sending all the prayers possible to your loved ones & family. I know your already up "there" interviewing all the soccer greats of the past. Rest in Peace Grant.
I'm so saddened by this news, and in many ways it feels like the loss of a friend, which I think is a testament to Grant's talent as a writer. As a long time reader of his work and listener to his podcasts, I've always loved his commentary on the game and respected his passion and willingness to engage in topics at the periphery of traditional sports reporting. I thought his piece about migrant workers in Qatar was a prime example of this, and demonstrated bravery from a journalist intending to return to the country so soon. His pieces around the women's game and the USWNT negotiations stand out as another example of his commitment to his ideals and support of them through his writing.
My sincere condolences to his friends and family. He will truly be missed.
I am shocked and devastated by the news. Grant was my envoy through the beautiful game. I always enjoyed and learned from his insight. Such a loss. My thoughts are with his wife, “The Doc”. And also with all of Grant’s colleagues in the soccer world. He seemed to know everyone in soccer journalism. And thoughts for Witty, who has lost a good friend and colleague.
It's a stark thing to read a post from someone, issued only the day before, and recognize it to be his last bit of published writing. I didn't know Grant until this summer when my book was published. He championed "Generation Zero" in a way ... well, in a way one would only dare dream the dean of U.S. soccer writers would. So supportive. So generous. I was on his podcast only a month ago. I can only wish his family strength and solace in this terrible moment. Soccer is often described as the most important, least important thing. It seems a particularly moving and trenchant observation in light of the way Grant deployed his own well-earned place in the world of soccer media: risking/sacrificing his own job to protest the way SI was downsizing others; making time on his podcast to share straight Covid talk from his immunologist wife during the early days of the pandemic; and using his World Cup coverage to take his hosts to task on a range of pointed issues. I'm a refugee from the daily newspaper world, where colleagues often refer to the sports department as "The Sandbox". Grant Wahl was full of insight and compassion, but he was an excellent, serious and intrepid news man.
'I can't tell you how much I admire them'..
An hours later, Grant is gone..
So many of us now, I'm sure would love to tell Grant how much we admired him..
What else can I add beyond how devastated I am by the news of Grant's death. For me, what stood out the most about Grant's coverage of soccer since he was let go by SI and started his own project here on Substack is how he was able to cut through the corporate packaging of the game and tell personal stories. These stories about people from all across the soccer landscape are what drew me closer to Grant's work and made his writing and podcast the cornerstone for how I've been engaging with soccer the past 2.5 years. Grant's work here has become the foundation for how I consume and interpret soccer. I've been following USMNT since 1994 and MLS since it started but Grant introduced me to a much wider world of US soccer including the women's game and the people behind the scenes. There is no replacing his work and what he brought to my life. Although I never met Grant in person, I will miss him deeply.
Waking up and seeing the news of Grant’s passing, I can’t believe it. Listening and reading his work daily during this tournament has somehow made be feel “closer” to him. Sounds strange I know but I have always felt when he wrote or spoke on podcasts his delivery made you feel as thought the story was intended for just you. Like you were just having a conversation with a buddy. I will certainly miss that but can’t begin to imagine what the family is going through. Please know there is a large community of people thinking and praying for you all at this time.
I am heartbroken. Prayers for grants family. Grant was an irreplaceable steward of the game and will be deeply deeply missed.
I first followed grant maybe 12 years ago and will truthfully feel a bit empty without him. This news hurt me a lot. Rip grant.
I am gutted. A truly good person, great soccer writer. This is just awful news. My thoughts and prayers to his wife and family.
Grant I’m devastated that you’re no longer with us. Thank you for your work and everything you provided to the soccer community in the U.S.
Like everyone on here, I am shocked and devastated by the sudden loss of Grant. And that's what it is... a huge loss for everyone: for the world of football, which he chronicled so passionately and deeply for so long; for journalism; for his wife and family; for his thousands of friends; and for his readership.
I'm roughly the same age as Grant, and first came to his writing like many did, in the pages of Sports Illustrated. He was a fine writer, and I devoured his book "The Beckham Experiment." When I stumbled on his podcast about a year ago and learned of his Substack site, I immediately signed up for a paid subscription. He didn't just cover the wins and losses--he took you behind the scenes and introduced you to the many amazing players, coaches, executives, and media figures whom he knew and admired. Pieces like the feature story about FC Sheriff were unique and penetrating, as was his coverage of the women's game (a particular favorite of mine). But I would read Grant Wahl's writing on anything, because his intelligence, warmth and humanity shone through in everything he produced. I can't believe I will never read another piece by him.
I'm a huge Seattle Sounders fan, and would often ask Grant questions about the club for his Friday Mailbag. He often answered, and would comment on my comments. So when the Sounders were playing in the CONCACAF Champions League Final last May, and Grant announced that he'd be in Seattle for the match, I messaged him through the site and suggested a meetup at a Sounders bar before the game. He agreed and we tried to make it happen, but he was extremely busy during his visit and we ended up not connecting. He was gracious about it, as always, and I told him, "No worries--we'll do it another time." Now, there won't be another chance for me to meet Grant and thank him for his work. I'm extremely sad about that.
I wanted to thank Chris Wittyngham for all his work on the podcast with Grant, and in particular for the short memorial pod he just posted. It really communicates what an amazing person Grant was, how many people he touched, and how much we have lost. That must not have been easy to do, especially so shortly after Grant's passing. God, I'll miss hearing Chris and Grant banter about the world's game. Soccer just won't be the same without it, and without Grant's writing. Thank you, Grant, for everything. RIP.
From being gifted the Beckham Experiment while in high school through my SI subscriptions, Grant was a constant in my life as a soccer player and soccer fan. I keep scrolling twitter hoping for some insane miscommunication but this loss is incalculable. My heart goes out to Grant, his family, and all his friends and colleagues around the world. A truly kind man we can all aspire to be.
Sending all my love to Grant's family, friends, and colleagues. What a terrible moment.
Hope Grant is ok.
I continue to feel a huge void where Grant's voice was. When the story came out last night about Reyna and what was behind his lack of minutes at the WC, I immediately wanted to hear what Grant had to say about it. It's such a painful loss.
Is there any place where people can continue the conversation about Grant's work and what his life meant? I suppose Twitter is the natural place, but I wish there was more of a memorial place to put our thoughts and memories. Please reply if you have links or ideas.
Meanwhile I'll keep posting links of tributes to Grant's life here. I loved this one, from one of Grant's housemates in Qatar (another famous soccer journalist, well-known for his coverage of the Champions League): https://www.cnn.com/videos/sports/2022/12/12/grant-wahl-friend-guillem-balague-tribute-davies-pkg-ovn-contd-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn
Also, here's something that appeared on the paid site The Athletic (sorry for any firewalls):
Please post any other links to tributes that you might find in the comments!
It hit me this morning that we will have the World Cup here in 2026 with matches in Kansas City. Grant not being there to enjoy any of it just compounds the tragedy.