In the history of American football, Rashaan Salaam was quite a force to be reckoned with, and when he died, many couldn’t really get the hang of it. Salaam was a six-foot-tall American professional footballer best remembered as a running back in the NFL in the 1990s when he played for the Chicago Bears and the Cleveland Browns. He played in the running back position and was the youngest footballer in NFL history to run over 1,000 yards.
He has many trophies, milestones, and awards to his credit, including the 1994 Heisman Trophy, the Sporting News Player of the Year, the Doak Walker Award, and Walter Camp Award, and the NFC Rookie of the Year title in 1995. During his career, the American football star was also inducted into the University of Colorado’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
Rashaan Salaam Wiki, Bio
The great American footballer was born on 8 October 1974 in San Diego, California, the son of the former Cincinnati Bengals Running Back Teddy Washington, later known as Sultan Salaam, after he converted to Islam. Thus Sallam was raised as a Muslim.
Like most successful people, Salaam’s career began at an early stage. At La Jolla Country Day School in the suburbs of San Diego, he played eight-man football and ran every game except for one over 100 yards. His outstanding achievements were rewarded with an All-American High School Recognition, and later he was inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame.
At the University of Colorado, Salaam played for the Colorado Buffaloes soccer team from 1992 to 1994. Here he experienced one of the best singles seasons in the history of college football and rushed to the school record of 2,055 yards. His junior years brought many milestones as he also scored 24 touchdowns and helped Colorado set an 11-1 record. These include a 41-24 win over Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the 1995 Fiesta Bowl and a 3rd place finish in the final Associated Press poll. His team lost only once in the season to Big Eight Conference rival Nebraska Cornhuskers, who remained undefeated and finished the season in the top spot in both the Associated Press and United Press International polls.
Salaam was a unanimous first-team All-American and winner of the Heisman Trophy. He beat Penn State running back Ki-Jana Carter and quarterbacks Steve McNair of Alcorn State and Kerry Collins of Penn State to win the coveted title.
After Salaam was selected by the Chicago Bears in the first round with the 21st overall selection of the 1995 NFL draft, he played for the team from 1995 to 1997. In his early days, he stormed to 1,074 yards and scored 10 touchdowns. However, due to injuries, fumbling and drug abuse, he spent only three years with the Bears. As a result, he was transferred to the Miami Dolphins before the 1998 season, a deal that was reversed after Salaam failed a physical examination. In 1999 he spent time with the Cleveland Browns and the Green Bay Packers, but only played in two games.
A Dwindling Career
After playing briefly in the XFL for the Memphis Maniax in 2001, Salaam was only able to finish the year 528 yards ahead before the injury shortened his season and the league collapsed after one season. Another attempt at an NFL career in 2002 also proved a failure for Salaam after a much-publicized training session at the Cris Carter Speed School. After all the hype he was picked up by the San Francisco 49ers in 2003, but in August of the same year, he was subsequently dismissed in the penultimate round of cuts.
Similarly, Salaam was signed by the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL) in 2004 but was suspended by the Argos in May. This marked the end of his career.
Rashaan Salaam Wife, Children, Family, Was He Gay?
Salaam is survived by his parents – Sultan Salaam, his father who was also a professional American football player, his mother Khaleda Salaam-Alaji, and his siblings Jabali Alaji and Atiya Henry. He was never married and once told the Chicago Tribune that he was a bachelor for life. He also had no children until his death.
Apparently, he never had any plans to tie the knots. Instead, he focused on his career and used his spare time to run a camp in San Diego for young and aspiring athletes and act as their mentors. Nevertheless, Salaam had a friend, Shelly Martins, who was devastated by his sudden death.
Being single for a long time can lead to speculation about a person’s sexuality. Yet there is no confirmation that Salaam is gay. Apparently, he simply didn’t want the idea of marriage.
Cause Of Death – How did Rashaan Salaam Die?
Just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse in 2016, terrible news about Rashaan Salaam sent shockwaves through the world. The American football player was found dead on December 5, 2016, in a park in Boulder, Colorado. A note beside his body made it look like a possible suicide, thus an autopsy was performed by authorities.
It was later concluded on December 29 that he committed suicide through a gunshot wound to the head. According to a report released by The Boulder County Coroner’s Office, Salaam’s blood-alcohol content was three times the legal driving limit and he had THC in his system. To date, his family and friends are yet to come to terms with the fact that he took his own life.