The death of Steelers chairman Dan Rooney has spurred responses from all corners of the NFL on Thursday afternoon, including one from Panthers owner Jerry Richardson.
“My heart is heavy today as the passing of Dan Rooney leaves a void that can never be filled,” Richardson said in a statement. “No one in the National Football League provided me more friendship and counsel over the past 25 years than Dan, and I will always cherish our time together. Dan was a cornerstone of the National Football League and leaves a lasting mark on the game he loved both on and off the field. His lifetime of service to his team, the NFL, his city and his country earned Dan the respect and love of so many. He will be dearly missed. Rosalind and I send our thoughts and prayers to the Rooney family and the entire Steelers organization.”
Many current and former Steelers players shared their condolences and other thoughts on social media. Wide receiver Antonio Brown was among them, writing that he will miss Rooney and that his No. 84 “will represent the 84 years you spent on this earth making an impact on the lives of others.”
Former Steelers coach Bill Cowher called Rooney his mentor and thanked him for “guidance and wisdom” during their time together.
Pro Football Hall of Fame president and CEO David Baker also issued a statement announcing that the flag at the Pro Football Hall of Fame “will fly at half-staff in honor of one of the greatest men to ever serve this game” on Friday. Rooney was elected to the Hall in 2000.