‘My guardian angel:’ NFL’s Grant Haley honors dad, CEO of UF Health Jacksonville Dr. Leon Haley

New Orleans Saints cornerback Grant Haley paid tribute on social media on Wednesday to his father, UF Health Jacksonville CEO Dr. Leon Haley.

Leon Haley was killed in a jet ski crash in the Palm Beach Inlet on Saturday. He was 56.

Grant Haley took to Instagram to share a photo of his father, writing, “Daddy you will always be my hero. You showed and taught me how and what it meant to be a black man in this life.”

Grant Haley started his NFL career with the New York Giants in 2018 and played college football at Penn State.

Leon Haley was the first person in the state of Florida to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and was the first Black CEO of UF Health Jacksonville. He played a pivotal role in getting the COVID-19 vaccine rolled out in Jacksonville, especially in the Black community.

Here is the full text from Grant Haley’s Instagram post about his father:

“You set a standard and a legacy that a son can only hope to achieve. Daddy you will always be my hero. You showed and taught me how and what it meant to be a black man in this life. There are no words that I can even begin to put together to let you know how proud I am to be your son. I will forever honor your legacy as a servant towards others. I promise you not a day will go by where you won’t cross my mind. I will take care of everyone down here because I know you will be watching me and guiding me every step of the way. I love you so much and can’t wait to see you again one day. Uncle LoLo is waiting for you with open arms. To my guardian angel and the greatest man I will ever know you raised two fine young man and a daughter that will change this world. I will do everything I can in this life of mine to make you proud. 🖤🕊”

Leon Haley’s funeral service will be held Saturday, July 31st at 11 a.m. at Wesley AME Zion Church in Pittsburgh.

The funeral service will also be broadcasted live for those who would like to view the service. To watch online, visit http://grievefromhome.com and click on “watch funeral service”

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting memorial contributions be sent in his memory for African American students to the Dr. Leon L. Haley, Jr. Scholarship Fund: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 128 N. Craig St., Pittsburgh, PA 15213. You can also donate online by clicking here.