A Kenner man who was the editor of a popular Spanish-language sports newspaper in the New Orleans area and the director of a sports show on the local Telemundo affiliate died Saturday night after playing in a charity soccer match, according to his colleagues.
Renan Rodriguez Caballero, 58, edited the biweekly TodoSport newspaper and directed the show “TodoSportTV,” which airs on KGLA-TV each Saturday morning and night.
He was born in La Ceiba, Honduras.
Rodriguez played Saturday in a match featuring Hispanic community leaders at Pan-American Stadium in New Orleans as part of an event where guests were asked to bring clothes, children’s toys and medicines to donate to people in need.
He collapsed outside the stadium afterward and was taken to a hospital. Friends flooded his Facebook page with messages offering prayers and best wishes, some of them under photos showing Rodriguez playing in the match.
About 1 a.m. Sunday, TodoSport announced on Facebook that Rodriguez had died and the organization had “lost its captain and guide.”
In a separate Facebook post published about the same time, “TodoSportTV” co-host Carlos Sevilla said he could not yet comprehend how New Orleans had so suddenly lost “a sports world giant.”
Sevilla said Rodriguez had dropped him off at the airport Saturday morning after shooting the latest episode of “TodoSportTV” at KGLA’s studios in Metairie. Sevilla said he was headed to Miami to cover an exhibition game featuring a team of retired Honduran soccer stars, and match officials planned to hold a moment of silence in Rodriguez’s honor.
“Renan will be missed in the community — he was one of our most respected leaders and representatives,” KGLA owner Ernesto Schweikert said.
Several of the condolences that were later posted on social media about Rodriguez quoted the motto of his newspaper and TV show: “All for the fans.”
One such message read, “He gave it all for the fans. Now, all of us are with Renan.”
Aside from his journalistic activities in New Orleans, Rodriguez covered the Honduran national soccer team for media in that country, including the squad’s trips to the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups in South Africa and Brazil.
An exact cause of death was not available Sunday. An autopsy was pending, and the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Survivors include his wife, Lillian Orellana; a sister, Elizabeth; and a brother, Conrado.
TodoSport said Rodriguez will be buried in Honduras. Plans for a local memorial are incomplete.