The Oakland Raiders franchise lost one of its own after it was announced that Hall of Fame cornerback Willie Brown died at the age of 78.
Brown was one of the most legendary players in team history as a four-time All-Pro and three-time Super Bowl champion with the Raiders. He ultimately retired as the franchise leader in interceptions with 39.
Even after his playing career, Brown was a notable figure around the organization. He was even the one that had announced the selection of quarterback Derek Carr with the 36th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Carr has since taken to Twitter to express his condolences to Brown’s family for their recent loss:
Man… going to miss you Willie! I’ll never forget when you called my name on that stage to welcome me into the Raider family 4 life! Prayers to his family. https://t.co/nqgAuuJD1G
— Derek Carr (@derekcarrqb) October 22, 2019
The Raiders organization also released an official statement on Brown’s passing:
“Willie Brown will forever be cherished as a true Raider. He exemplified the Raider spirit, originally entering the AFL as an undrafted free agent out of Grambling State before joining the Silver and Black in 1967. He remained an integral part of the organization through six decades. His legendary performance on the field changed the way the cornerback position was played and his valued guidance as a coach, mentor and administrator permeated the organization and touched countless individuals both on and off the field. Willie’s loss will leave a tremendous void, but his leadership and presence will always be a major part of the fabric of the Raiders Family.”
Finally, Raiders owner Mark Davis released a statement of his own:
It’s A Very Sad Day For The Raider Nation As A Whole.. And For My Family In Particular.. Willie Brown Was One Of The Greatest To Ever Play The Game.. But It Was Off The Field And How He Treated My Mom For Which I Will Forever Be Indebted To Him.. Every Road Trip It Was Willie Who Helped My Mom Up And Down The Stairs Of The Plane.. It Was Willie Who Joined Her For All Dinners On The Road.. It Was Willie Who Came To Her Every Birthday And Mother’s Day Dinner.. It Was Willie Who Was Her Best Friend.. We Loved And Will Miss You Willie…
Brown will forever be immortalized as one of the greatest players to ever wear the Silver and Black. Carr can take solace in the fact that he was one of the first people to welcome him to Oakland as a rookie while he continues to try and leave a legacy of his own.
Aside from being one of the best cornerbacks of his decade, Brown stuck around with the team to help ensure that the next generation was in good hands as a defensive backs coach. He remained as part of the fabric of the community in Southern California by taking on head coaching stints at Long Beach State and Jordan High School.
There is certainly no shortage of notable players and coaches that have helped to establish the household brand that the Raiders are today. However, few have been able to leave a lasting impact like Brown has as evidenced by Carr’s comments.
Some other members of Raider Nation took to social media to offer condolences and mourn the passing of Brown:
You will be missed Old Man Willie
— Langston B Walker (@langstonwalker) October 22, 2019
— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) October 22, 2019
— Rod Woodson (@RodWoodson26) October 22, 2019
RIP Willie Brown…
— MaddMaxx (@CrosbyMaxx) October 22, 2019
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) October 22, 2019
My heart is broken. Just found out… RIP Willie Brown. Great player, better man! Truly my privilege to be coached by you. Rest easy OG
— Mike Mitchell (@iammikemitchell) October 22, 2019
Man this one hit me hard! RIP Willie Brown just a great all around man. Kept us laughing and taught us so much about life and how to be professionals… rest easy Famer
— Tyvon Branch (@tyvonbranch) October 22, 2019
My is heavy. #RIP Willie B, had 2 be the realist & funniest old man I’ve ever met as I wud always tease. I preciate wat u taught me about, “Always try to choke the hell out of a WR, punch em in the mouth” he definitely had a hate hate relationship towards WRs. Man I’m hurt. pic.twitter.com/uQpwS4BPXZ
— Antonio Hamilton (@UnitedSt8Of_Ham) October 22, 2019
Saddened to hear the news of Willie Brown passing away. A selfless individual who everybody loved. He represented the Raiders with his whole heart. I will miss you Famer!
— Jon Condo (@JonCondo) October 22, 2019
Rest in heaven to one of the greatest person who has ever shared their wisdom with me…1LOVE pic.twitter.com/aPwvrOHNt9
— Brentson Buckner (@faithbeforefame) October 22, 2019
Rest in Heaven Willie B!!!!
— Khalil Mack (@FiftyDeuce) October 22, 2019
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