The NFL community reacts

AFC Owners and Executives Steve Bisciotti, Baltimore Ravens Owner:* "Dan Rooney was the conscience of the NFL while serving as one of the powerful influences recently and in the history of our league. While a winner and a competitor at the highest level, he was kind, classy and a true gentleman. He was a giant in our industry. **

"Mr. Rooney was so gracious, warm and welcoming when I joined the league. I feel blessed to have known him, and our prayers and thoughts are with his wonderful family."


Ozzie Newsome, Baltimore Ravens General Manager & Executive Vice President: *
"We lost an outstanding person today, a man devoted to making the Steelers and the NFL great. He humbled me with the respect he showed to the Ravens and myself. He is the father of the 'Rooney Rule,' which has meant so much to minorities working in, and wanting to work in, the NFL. We will all miss him."

John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens Head Coach:
"We lost a giant of the NFL today. Mr. Rooney epitomized the best of this league: classy, great competitor, righteous, fair and a trailblazer. We thank him for all he did to make us all better. I will miss his post-game visits to our locker room. Win or lose, he would come shake my hand and wish the Ravens good fortune. My prayers are with he and his family."

Terry and Kim Pegula, Buffalo Bills Owners:
"Dan Rooney is one of the true pioneers and pillars of the National Football League and deserves a lot of the credit for the success that our sport has enjoyed for a very long time. On top of that, he was as classy and nice of a man you will ever come across. On behalf of the Buffalo Bills and our great fans in Western New York, we send our condolences to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Rooney family."

Doug Whaley, Buffalo Bills General Manager:
*"Being a native of Pittsburgh, I know what Dan Rooney and the Rooney family have meant to the region and all of Steelers Nation. He hired me twice and was very instrumental to me being where I am professionally. More importantly, the life lessons he imparted to me helped me grow as a person, a husband and a father. My condolences go out to the Rooney family and the Steelers organization."

Mike Brown, Cincinnati Bengals President:**"Dan Rooney was an eminent figure in the National Football League. Dan was universally respected by every team, and his voice was listened to by everyone associated with the NFL. Dan was a great competitor, and his teams reflected his competitive spirit and drive. For over half a century, we have been fortunate to enjoy a personal friendship with Dan, and we will miss him. Our thoughts are with his wife Patricia, his son Art, and the entire Rooney family."


A photo gallery of images spanning the life and career of Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney.

Dee and Jimmy Haslam, Cleveland Browns Owners: "We are deeply saddened by the loss of Dan Rooney. Mr. Rooney was a great man and true leader who always put others before himself. His immeasurable impact on the NFL will forever be recognized and his legacy, which includes the Rooney Rule, will continue to guide our league. Mr. Rooney's dedication to the NFL is only surpassed by his commitment to his family. It was a privilege and we were extremely fortunate to have spent time with the Steelers and to be in the presence of such a world class person like Dan Rooney. We are graciously thankful for Mr. Rooney, the way he treated everyone he encountered and his passion for the NFL. Our hearts are with the entire Rooney family, who we know will miss him dearly, as will we, along with the entire NFL community."*

Vance Joseph, Denver Broncos Head Coach:
*"As someone who's privileged to work in the NFL, my sincere condolences go out to the Rooney family, Mike Tomlin and everyone else at the Steelers who knew Mr. Rooney. I know he was a champion for diversity, not only around the NFL but also within his team. I believe the opportunity he gave Coach Tomlin many years ago opened up a lot of doors for minority coaches around the league, including myself. When you talk about the "Rooney Rule," and giving everyone a chance to interview for these jobs, that's a credit to Mr. Rooney and his incredible legacy."

Jim Irsay, Indianapolis Colts Owner/CEO: * "The Colts organization is saddened by the passing of Pittsburgh Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney.  Mr. Rooney was one of the most significant and influential figures in NFL history, and his wide-ranging contributions to the NFL and the game of football have left a lasting imprint.**

*"Dan Rooney was the best of the best. A 'top floor' Hall of Fame owner for the League and Steelers, with unparalleled contributions to his team and our league through more than a half-century of leadership.  Six Lombardi Trophies for Steeler fans and a true guardian of the game.  The NFL became the greatest game on earth in part because of Dan's stewardship over the past six-plus decades.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Patricia, and the entire Rooney family."*
*Shad Khan, Jacksonville Jaguars Owner:
"It has been my honor to become friends with and learn from many team owners who literally built the NFL into the greatest league in the world.  Regrettably, we've lost a number of these builders in recent years.  The passing of Dan Rooney is truly sad news not only for fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but for anyone who loves the National Football League.  Mr. Rooney's influence will continue to personally shape me as an owner and inspire everyone associated with our game, and his commitment to diversity should be the model we follow as an entire nation.  There will never be another owner quite like Dan Rooney."

Clark Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs Chairman and Chief Executive Officer:*"Our family has been blessed to call Dan and the Rooney family our partners and dear friends for more than six decades, and we are deeply saddened by today's news. Our thoughts and prayers will remain with Patricia, Art, the Rooney family and the entire Steelers organization.

"With humility, class and an unwavering devotion to the good of the game, Dan Rooney shaped the modern NFL. The sustained success of his teams made him a model to be emulated and admired by his peers, and his character and the strength of his convictions left a legacy that made our game better."*

Dean Spanos, Los Angeles Chargers Owner: *"The National Football League, the City of Pittsburgh and anyone who had the good fortune to know Dan Rooney lost someone special today.  Mr. Rooney is one of the most respected and influential leaders in the history of the NFL.  His love of football and the purity of the sport helped shape what the NFL is today: the most popular sport with the most passionate fans in the country.  He was the inspirational leader of the Steelers and, in many ways, the entire Pittsburgh region.  Dan Rooney was a true pioneer; genuine … humble … one of the nicest people you'll ever meet.  He was a man of few words, but his words always came from the heart.  On behalf of the entire Spanos family and everyone at the Chargers, our sincerest condolences to his wife Patricia and the entire Rooney family."

Robert Kraft, New England Patriots, Chairman/CEO:"I am deeply saddened to hear the news regarding Dan Rooney. When I first entered the NFL, Dan and his family were so gracious to me and my family. They provided guidance on how to build a winning organization, both on and off the field. As important as winning was to Dan, he never lost sight of the importance of giving back to his community. My goal was to build a team that could sustain a winning tradition just like the Rooney family had with the Pittsburgh Steelers. I feel the success we have had as an organization is directly tied to the lessons I learned from Dan. He represented the heart and soul of the National Football League. In my experiences with him at the NFL meetings, I always admired the way he conducted himself, with great humility, dignity and kindness. He was a leader who was respected by everyone associated with this wonderful game. My condolences go out to his wife Patricia, his son Art, as well as his entire family, the many players who played for him and the countless Steeler fans who will mourn his loss."*

Woody Johnson, New York Jets CEO:
"On behalf of the New York Jets, I'd like to extend my condolences on the passing of Dan Rooney. Dan is one of the game's pioneers and a torchbearer for all of the best qualities that our sport has to offer. Even with his tremendous influence, he always conducted himself with a humility, honesty, and selflessness that is rare. Dan will always be one of professional football's great treasures."

Mark Davis, Oakland Raiders Owner:
*"The Raiders are truly saddened by the passing of Pittsburgh Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney. Mr. Rooney's dedication to the NFL was unparalleled and the rivalry forged on the field between the Raiders and Steelers still ranks among the greatest in history. Like my father, Mr. Rooney was a champion of diversity in our sport and his legacy in this league will live on forever."

Amy Adams Strunk, Tennessee Titans Controlling Owner:* "My late father (K.S. "Bud" Adams, Jr.) and Ambassador Rooney shared an enduring respect for our game, our league, and each other. Our deepest condolences go out to the Rooney family and the Steelers fans. Our two franchises have a deep history of rivalry; but through all of those years Mr. Rooney's team always earned our respect. He was an iconic owner in our league whose legacy will always be remembered. Always a gentleman, he served his country, his community and the NFL. He will be missed."**

NFC Owners and Executives Michael Bidwill, Arizona Cardinals President:"This is an incredibly sad day and profound loss for all of us who had the pleasure and privilege of knowing Dan Rooney. Mr. Rooney's love for the Steelers, their players and their fans was apparent to everyone, as was the tremendous pride he took when he was appointed U.S. Ambassador to his beloved Ireland. But all of that was exceeded by the love and deep devotion he had for Patricia and their wonderful family. Our thoughts are certainly with the Rooneys, their entire organization, and all of Steeler Nation upon the passing of this remarkable man."

Arthur Blank, Atlanta Falcons Owner:"I'm saddened to learn of Dan Rooney's passing and extend my heartfelt condolences to the entire Rooney family and everyone in the Steelers organization. Dan's immeasurable contributions to his team, our league and to our country will be a lasting legacy of a man and leader respected by so many. Personally, I'll always be grateful for the guidance and friendship he provided to me over the years."

Jerry Richardson, Carolina Panthers Owner:"My heart is heavy today as the passing of Dan Rooney leaves a void that can never be filled. 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."George H. McCaskey, Chicago Bears Chairman:"Ambassador Rooney was one of the giants of our game. His quiet counsel to League commissioners going back to Bert Bell was invaluable to the success of the NFL. When Dan Rooney spoke at a League meeting, the entire room became quiet, because everybody wanted to hear what he had to say. That's the kind of respect he commanded from our group. He has also the conscience of the NFL, always stressing what was best for the game, the players, and the fans. Everything he did was done with class, dignity and humility. He was, quite simply, a great man. Our condolences to his wife Pat, his son Art, the Steelers organization, and Steelers Nation. May the road rise up to meet him…."John Fox, Chicago Bears Head Coach:"My sincerest condolences to the Rooney family and the Pittsburgh Steelers organization on Dan's passing. All of us across the NFL lost a great man today. I am proud to have started my NFL coaching career with his beloved Steelers in 1986 and I will always be thankful for that opportunity. He was a first class gentleman and a gold standard as a Hall of Fame owner."Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys Owner:"This is a sad day for anyone who has had an association with the NFL. Whether it be fans, players, coaches, broadcast personnel, media, team owners or club employees, Dan Rooney's influence touched us all – and made all of our lives better.  *"The Rooney's are a royal family in the National Football League, and Dan more than capably followed in the footsteps of his father, Art, a league founder. He shaped the league with instincts, wisdom and a soft-spoken velvet touch. He was a steward and a guardian for the growth and popularity of the NFL, because he loved the game so much. "My last in-person visit with Dan came just moments after our teams played in Pittsburgh in November. It was a thrilling game that came down to the last possession, and Dan came to the Cowboys locker room to congratulate our team. It was a touching act of kindness and sportsmanship, and a moment that will forever remind me of the dignity and class with which he lived every day of his wonderful life. Our thoughts are with Pat, Art II and all of the Rooney family. Dan Rooney's spirit will be remembered and embraced for as long as young boys and men play this game – and for as long as people gather to watch and enjoy it."  * Martha Firestone Ford, Detroit Lions Owner and Chairman: *"On behalf on my family and the Detroit Lions organization, I would like to extend our deepest sympathy to Patricia, Art, the entire Rooney family and the Steelers organization on the passing of Mr. Rooney. Like his father before him, Dan was not only a tremendous owner for the Steelers, but also one who focused on what was best for the entire NFL. His many contributions are well documented, and we are a better league because of Dan and his family." Mark Murphy, Green Bay Packers President/CEO: *"The Green Bay Packers are very saddened to hear of the passing of Dan Rooney. It's a great loss for the National Football League and the Pittsburgh Steelers. I don't think any owner had a bigger impact on the modern NFL than Dan. He was always the voice of reason, had tremendous respect for players, and looked out for the interest of our fans. Our sincerest condolences go out to the Rooney family and the Steelers organization."

Stanley Kroenke, Los Angeles Rams Owner:"On behalf of the Los Angeles Rams and our fans, we send our deepest condolences and thoughts to the Rooney family and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Dan Rooney was a well-respected leader and innovator for the National Football League. He dedicated his life to growing all aspects of our game, including diversity and inclusion.  He was an honored dignitary for our nation and he treated everyone he met with respect. His many great contributions will live on for football players and fans everywhere."The Wilf Family, Minnesota Vikings: *"The National Football League lost a legend today with the passing of Dan Rooney. For more than 50 years in the NFL, Dan consistently focused on the growth of the league and its players. He was a leader in diversity and labor issues and was tremendously admired by all NFL owners for his passion for the game, his humble nature and his approachable personality. While helping lead the Steelers to six Super Bowl wins, he and his family became entrenched in the Pittsburgh community, giving back to multiple causes and ensuring the franchise used its platform to improve lives. Dan was a source of counsel for us as owners, and we, along with many others, will miss him. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Rooney family." Tom Benson, New Orleans Saints Owner: "Gayle and I were saddened to hear about the passing of Dan Rooney. In addition to being a close friend, Dan Rooney was one of the true visionaries in our sport and our game is what it is today due to the efforts of men like him. He was a true gentleman with impeccable character and integrity who was thoughtful, gracious, caring and a remarkable person, someone who truly embodied everything we should all aspire to be and an example of how we should all live our lives. We have lost a true treasure that will never be replaced and whose legacy will never be forgotten. Our hearts along with our thoughts and prayers go out to the Rooney Family and the entire Steelers organization." John Mara, New York Giants President: *"Dan Rooney was one of the greatest owners in all of professional sports. More than that he was a great friend who was a man of principle and a role model for any of us privileged to be a part of the NFL. He leaves a legacy on our sport that will last for generations."

Steve Tisch, New York Giants Chairman & Executive Vice President:"For those of us who came into this league in the past 30 years, people like Dan Rooney and his family and the Maras, who we are fortunate to partner with, have shown the way, from what the NFL was founded upon to what it is that we all want it to be. Dan Rooney and his family, like the Maras, provided the foundation for the NFL that we all see today."Jeffrey Lurie, Philadelphia Eagles Chairman/CEO:"Dan represented the very best of the NFL and our country. He was always humble and kind with a total dedication to his team and his community of Pittsburgh. I will really miss his friendship and the advice that he so willingly shared with me over the last two decades. On behalf of the Eagles organization, Tina and I send our thoughts and prayers to the Rooney family and all of Steelers nation."

Jed York, San Francisco 49ers CEO:"My condolences to the Rooney family and Steelers Nation. As a kid from Steel Valley, I know how much Mr. Rooney meant to so many."

John Lynch, San Francisco 49ers General Manager:"In 1969, Mr. Rooney, and his family, forever earned the respect of the Lynch family when they drafted my father, John Sr. That was just one of the many dreams he made come true during a wonderfully accomplished life. The thoughts and prayers of my entire family are with Mr. Rooney, his family and the Pittsburgh Steelers."

Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks Head Coach:
"Condolences to the family and friends of Dan Rooney. Sad day for the NFL. He has always been an NFL icon."Bryan Glazer, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Co-Chairman:"Dan Rooney was a leader, a role model and most of all, a gentleman.  His impact on our league has been felt for decades and remains everlasting. We will all miss him. The entire Buccaneer organization sends our deepest condolences to the Steelers and the Rooney family."Dan Snyder, Washington Redskins Owner:"I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ambassador Dan Rooney. Dan was always available and eager to help everyone. He was an icon in our league and a great friend to our game, and his immeasurable impact and presence will be felt for decades to come. I will dearly miss his counsel and his friendship."

NFL Reaction

Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue: 
"Dan Rooney was an extraordinary man of faith, conviction, reason and peace. 

"He loved his family, his Steelers and his Pittsburgh.  His values were of America, Ireland and his Church. He was an inspiration to millions throughout America, and in many other lands.  He was at home on mean streets, in locker rooms and chapels, with Presidents, Popes, poets and visionaries. Few have served so many so well.

"Dan was my mentor, role model, indispensable supporter and great friend during five decades. In the NFL, he is irreplaceable.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Patricia and his exceptional family."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell:
"Few men have contributed as much to the National Football League as Dan Rooney.  A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he was one of the finest men in the history of our game and it was a privilege to work alongside him for so many years.  Dan's dedication to the game, to the players and coaches, to his beloved Pittsburgh, and to Steelers fans everywhere was unparalleled.  He was a role model and trusted colleague to commissioners since Bert Bell, countless NFL owners, and so many others in and out of the NFL.  A voice of reason on a wide range of topics, including diversity and labor relations, Dan always had the league's best interests at heart.  For my part, Dan's friendship and counsel were both inspiring and irreplaceable.  My heart goes out to Patricia, Art, and the entire Rooney family on the loss of this extraordinary man."

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