His Sports Illustrated work was mostly centered on college basketball and soccer in the United States. Wahl stood for the FIFA president in 2011, but withdrew his candidacy after receiving no support from a football association. He quit Sports Illustrated in 2020 to launch his own newsletter, Substack.
The whole U.S. Soccer team felt heartbroken for the loss.
Grant Wahl was born in Mission, Kansas, in 1974, and was a supporter of the Kansas City Comets, a local indoor soccer team. He went to Shawnee Mission East High School. He was an Eagle Scout. He moved on to Princeton University, where he acquired a Bachelor of Arts in Politics in 1996.
Grant Wahl Wife
Wahl was married to Céline Gounder, an American medical doctor and medical writer who specialized in infectious diseases and global health. They married in 2001 after meeting at Princeton University, their alma mater. She is the daughter of a French mother from Normandy and a Tamil-Indian father from a small village near Erode. Gounder is also an assistant professor at the NYU medical school.
Wahl’s debut book, The Beckham Experiment (2009), focuses on David Beckham’s 2007 relocation to the LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer and his influence on the league. It was a New York Times Best Seller. He published his second book, Masters of Modern Soccer, in 2018; it featured interviews with top players and evaluations of their playing styles. In 2020, he also launched a podcast series on Freddy Adu’s career, which was distributed by Blue Wire Media. In August 2021, Wahl launched his own independent newsletter, Fútbol with Grant Wahl, for his existing podcast.
Why Did Grant Wahl Leave Sports Illustrated?
On April 10, 2020, he was fired from Sports Illustrated after criticizing James Heckman, CEO of the magazine’s publisher Maven, for his handling of pay cuts during the coronavirus pandemic.
Wahl, who was then 24-year SI veteran and one of the sport’s best chroniclers in the United States, had left the once-iconic magazine a little more than a week after at least six editorial workers were let go and six months after around 40 people, or roughly one-third of the workforce, were let go.
James Heckman, CEO of SI’s publisher, Maven, wrote the SI employees shortly after Wahl made the news, criticizing Wahl. “Every senior staff member chose to put their personal budgetary future at danger, to safeguard employment and assure steady wages for those making less,” Heckman stated in a memo.
On Twitter, Wahl said he was willing to take a temporary pay cut, his base salary was less than what Heckman cited (though he did receive a bonus), and that he writes frequently.
How Did Grant Wahl Die?
On 9 December 2022, Grant Wahl collapsed within the press box at Qatar’s Lusail Iconic Stadium on December 9, 2022, while covering Argentina’s quarterfinal match versus the Netherlands.
Longtime soccer sportswriter Grant Wahl died on Friday while covering the Argentina-Netherlands quarterfinal at the 2022 World Cup in Doha, Qatar.
As the match was winding down, NPR correspondent Tom Goldman witnessed a commotion in the press tribune at Lusail Stadium. Reporters scattered as Wahl collapsed. Paramedics responded to the seating area where he was and performed CPR. After many minutes, they took him away on a stretcher while using an automatic chest compressor to continue applying CPR.
In his final days, the sportswriter told his listeners he had bronchitis.
“So many journalists have got a crazy cough. It sounds like a death rattle sometimes,” Wahl has said on a podcast, adding he tested negative for COVID and had received some medicine for treatment.
According to his wife, local paramedics responded swiftly and treated him for 30 minutes, including CPR, before transferring him to the hospital. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
On his podcast, he had complained of chest pain and sought treatment at the World Cup media center’s medical clinic, where he was told he most likely had bronchitis. He was given cough medication as well as antibiotics at the clinic.
Grant Wahl’s brother,” Eric wrote that he thought Grant, who had turned 48 days before his death, may have experienced a pulmonary embolism — a blood clot, which cannot be stopped with a defibrillator or CPR — when he collapsed in the press box last week.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the United States Soccer Federation, Major League Soccer, other journalists, and other personalities in American soccer and throughout the world paid tribute to Wahl’s career.