Pittsburgh Steelers Chairman and Owner, Dan Rooney, passes away at 84 years old.Outpours of heart felt messages from Steelers fan, NFL personalities and fellow owners and legendary Steelers players and Coaches spread across Twitter upon hearing of Rooney's passing.
Considered by many one of the staples in the NFL Community/Family, Rooney was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003 Rooney took ownership of the team from his father in the 1960s. As chairman of the NFL's diversity committee, Dan Rooney was instrumental in implementing the "Rooney Rule" which requires NFL Owners to interview African American and Minority candidates for vacant Head Coaching or Front Office positions. After the "Rooney Rule" was put in place, the percentage of African American Head Coaches jumped from 6% to 22% across the league.
Here are just some of the reactions to Dan Rooney's passing.
“Dan Rooney was a great friend of mine, but more importantly, he was a great friend to the people of Pittsburgh, a model citizen, and someone who represented the United States with dignity and grace on the world stage,” Obama said. “I knew he’d do a wonderful job when I named him as our United States Ambassador to Ireland, but naturally, he surpassed my high expectations, and I know the people of Ireland think fondly of him today. And I know the people of Pittsburgh, who loved him not only for the Super Bowl championships he brought as the owner of the Steelers, but for his generosity of spirit, mourn his passing today. Michelle and I offer our condolences to the Rooney family, some of the most gracious and thoughtful people we know — even as we celebrate the life of Dan Rooney: a championship-caliber good man.” President Barack Obama
"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." -- Roger Goodell