The NFL family suffered a loss on Friday with the passing of Ravens cornerback Tray Walker. On Friday night, the Ravens issued statements from various members of the organization regarding the loss of a 23-year-old member of the organization.
Instead of trying to weave the various statements into a narrative, all are presented below in full.
Owner Steve Bisciotti: “We have two sons not too much older than Tray, and we can’t imagine how much his family is suffering. This is so sad. The right words are hard to find at a time like this. As much as we can comfort Tray’s mom and the rest of his family, we will.”
G.M. Ozzie Newsome: “Tray was one of the most humble persons we brought in for a pre-draft visit. That was striking. After we drafted him, he and his family were so excited to receive the call that he was about to become a Raven. It was one of the calls I will always remember. There was such joy for Tray and his family.”
Coach John Harbaugh: “Tray was a young man with a good and kind heart. He was humble and loved everything about being part of the Ravens’ team. He loved his teammates, the practice and the preparation, and that showed every day. He was coachable, did his most to improve and worked to become the best. I’ll never forget that smile. He always seemed to be next to me during the national anthem; then we would give each other a big hug. May he rest in the Peace of Christ Jesus forever.”
Defensive backs coach Chris Hewitt: “My heart is heavy as these words come out of my mouth. I pray for Tray’s family and his loved ones. In football — both on the field and in the meeting room — you preach to your players to play every play as if it were their last. But to think that we are now going lay a player to rest is unbelievable.
“Tray was a young man who had a way about him that he could light up a room with his smile. Once you got to know him, he was one of the funniest guys. Whenever I got angry, he could make me laugh in a tense situation and bring me back to a cooler head. He challenged me as a coach, because he had a thirst for knowledge. And although things didn’t always go his way, he was ready for the next battle or challenge that you presented to him.
“He had a vision of what he wanted to be as a player, and after last season he left our building determined that in 2016 he would be a household name in Baltimore. He had so much potential and was on his way to being a great NFL player. He will be missed and will never be forgotten.”
Safety Terrence Brooks: “Tray will truly be missed by all who got to know him. I am taking this news pretty hard, because he was a guy who I took under my wing to help him with any little advice that I had gained from being in the NFL for a short amount of time.
“We vowed to each other to stick together and push each other as long as we remained on the same team. We both shared similar life experiences growing up in Florida. We sat together every day during meetings. He was like a little brother to me. I especially remember times he would drop by my house, and we would have long talks and laughs just about the NFL and everyday life. I truly felt a brotherly bond with him.
“Tray was a young man with so much life experience. I feel like he was much more of a man just because of where he grew up. Football was his escape. Not many understood that. It hurts my heart that he’s not getting the chance to show the world just what type of man and football player he was going to be. I was looking forward to taking that field with him this year, because we both kept up with each other’s progress this offseason. I really felt he was going to have a great year.
“But one thing I do know is that Tray will never leave my side. He will be watching over me every step of the way. I see just how precious life is, and I will fully dedicate my season to Tray.”
Quarterback Joe Flacco: “Tray was a young man who was full of energy and promise. This is very hard to wrap my head around, and I am devastated. As a parent, I cannot imagine what his family is going through right now. All of my thoughts are with them. My hope is that we can be a little bit of help by being a second family for them.”
Linebacker C.J. Mosley: “Tray was a guy who constantly kept a smile on his face. He was always laughing and joking in the locker room, and was by far, always the best dressed. He had such great potential and was ready to learn how to be a Raven. My prayers go out to Tray and his family. He will be sorely missed.”
Cornerback Jimmy Smith: “This is such a tragedy, and I am praying for Tray’s family. He was a tremendous young man with so much potential, and I will miss him. Tray had a hard shell, but once you broke through that, you found a person who was learning how to become a man and was so eager to be a great person and professional. I am heartbroken for his family.”
Linebacker Za’Darius Smith: “This is a really hard day for my Ravens family and me. However, I know it is even harder for the family of Tray. I had the opportunity to be around a guy who was unique and a great person – on and off the field. He was not only my teammate, but he was my brother. I send my condolences to his family and loved ones. Tray, you will truly be missed.”
Receiver Steve Smith Sr.: “Times like this make you hug your kids tighter. A mother lost her son today, and a family lost their brother, including us, his extended family. Tray had a bright future ahead of him outside of football and was a guy who lit up the room with his personality. I will miss seeing him every day and seeing that bright smile he always wore. I pray that his family can find peace. Rest well, Tray.”
Rest well indeed, Tray Walker. We continue to extend our prayers and condolences to Tray’s family, friends, teammates, coaches, and colleagues.