Cleveland Browns defensive end Chris Smith, who is mourning the loss of his girlfriend, said he will play in tonight’s Monday Night football game against the New York Jets.
In a statement, through his spokesperson, Smith said, “I am going to play tonight because it is something she would want me to do. She would want me to keep doing what I love and stay strong. I play for her tonight. She is my why.”
Smith’s girlfriend, Petara Cordero, 26, was killed in a car crash last week in Cleveland.
The crash happened in the westbound lanes near the West 140th Street exit ramp at about 2 a.m. Wednesday.
Smith was driving a 2019 Lamborghini when his tire blew, causing the car to strike the center median wall, Cleveland police said.
Smith and Cordero got out of the car. A short time later, a woman in a Mazda hit the passenger’s side of the Lamborghini and Cordero, who was standing on the shoulder, Cleveland police said.
Cordero was taken to Fairview Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The driver of the second car was also taken to the hospital, and was treated and released. According to police, she admitted she had been drinking.
Smith and Cordero recently celebrated the birth of their daughter, Haven Harris Smith.
The Cordero and Smith family are thanking everyone for their “thoughtful prayers, condolences and well wishes. From the bottom of their hearts they are grateful for the tremendous outpouring of support.”