William “The Refrigerator” Perry did not die, contrary to what a number of users on Twitter said this week. The ex-Chicago Bears defensive tackle’s death was merely a hoax.
On Twitter, a rumor circulated that the 50-year-old former football player had died, complete with memorials and eulogies.
The Clemson University-based Tiger Net website posted an erroneous report, saying that Perry died. It was later deleted. Clemson is Perry’s Alma Mater.
“Some have reported that William Perry passed away today. This is not correct. He is fine,” Tim Bourret, a spokesperson with Clemson, wrote on Twitter.
USA Today also confirmed that Perry wasn’t dead.
Tiger Net also said that Perry is “alive and well,” noting that Clemson was in touch with brother Michael Dean Perry.
Perry played for 10 seasons in the NFL, playing for the Bears–where he won a Super Bowl with the legendary 1985 team–and the Philadelphia Eagles.
He was called “The Refrigerator” due to his large size.
In 2011, ESPN ran a story about him, saying that he was struggling with his weight and alcoholism.
“Whenever he would drink, he didn’t feel any pain,” his younger brother, Daryl, told the network. “So he was masking the pain with the alcohol.”
He eventually curbed his drinking problem, and has “one or two” beers per day.
But the report said that Perry was pushing 400 pounds, spent all day watching TV, needed to get around with a cane, and sometimes sat in his own urine, according to accounts from his family.
Another report from 2011 said that Perry is trying to turn his life around to an extent. “He don’t like to exercise; he don’t do it,” his family member said.