Fox News sports reporter Matt Napolitano loses battle to scleroderma

In the world of sports journalism, the untimely passing of Matt Napolitano, a distinguished and vibrant reporter for Fox News, on December 25, 2023, has left a profound void that will be challenging to fill. At the age of 36, Napolitano succumbed to the relentless grip of scleroderma, a rare and chronic autoimmune disease that had plagued him since its diagnosis in 2020.

Known for his animated and comedic reporting style, Napolitano carved a niche for himself in the industry by covering iconic events such as the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Olympics, and the FIFA World Cup. His unique blend of enthusiasm and humor endeared him to viewers, making him a beloved figure in the sports journalism community.

Aside from his on-screen presence, Napolitano was also a co-host of the widely followed podcast, “The Sports Reporters,” where he, alongside colleagues and friends, engaged in insightful discussions about the latest in the sports world. His charismatic and affable nature made him a natural fit for the podcast format, and he played a crucial role in making it a fan-favorite.

The underlying battle that Napolitano fought against scleroderma was a testament to his resilience and courage. Despite the diagnosis and the challenges posed by the autoimmune disease, he continued to bring joy to audiences until November 2023, when he decided to take a hiatus to focus on his deteriorating health.

Scleroderma, a condition affecting approximately 300,000 Americans, proved to be a formidable adversary for Napolitano. Despite undergoing a myriad of treatments, including chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, and immunosuppressants, his health progressively declined. Complications such as pulmonary fibrosis, kidney failure, and heart arrhythmia led to multiple hospitalizations, necessitating oxygen therapy and dialysis.

News of Napolitano’s passing reverberated through the sports journalism community, prompting an outpouring of grief and tributes from family, friends, colleagues, and fans alike. His wife, Jessica Napolitano, took to social media to share a poignant message, describing him as the “best thing” that ever happened to her and their two children. She commended his fight against scleroderma with “grace, dignity, and humor,” showcasing the indomitable spirit that defined him.

Jay Wallace, the president of Fox News Media, expressed the network’s deep sorrow over the loss of Napolitano, praising his professionalism and dedication. Wallace described Napolitano as a cherished member of the Fox News family, whose infectious enthusiasm left an indelible mark.

On “The Sports Reporters,” Napolitano’s co-hosts, Jared Max and Dan Beyer, dedicated a poignant episode to honor his memory. They fondly reminisced about their favorite moments with him, playing some of his most memorable clips. In their heartfelt tribute, they hailed him as a great friend who brought daily laughter, pledging never to forget his impact on their lives.

Napolitano’s fans also took to social media to share their grief and admiration for the late sports reporter. Many remembered him as a bright light in the world of sports, someone who made the sector more enjoyable with his infectious positivity. While his departure was undoubtedly premature, his courage and optimism serve as lasting sources of inspiration. Matt Napolitano may be gone, but his legacy as a valiant warrior and gifted journalist will endure in the hearts of those who had the privilege of knowing him, both personally and through his work.