Willie Brown, one of the most illustrious cornerbacks that ever walked this planet, is no more. Raiders officials confirmed that NFL Hall of Famer Willie Brown passed away at the age of 78. The cause of his death is not known yet. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that everyone associated with the Raiders is in a state of shock as Willie Brown was with the organization for almost 6 decades, playing different roles.
During his remarkable 15 year NFL career, Brown won 3 Super Bowls. He made it to 4 Pro Bowls and graced the AFL All-Star team 5 times. With more than 54 career interceptions, Brown was one of the most admired and decorated sports stars that ever lived.
Willie Brown had a difficult start but an illustrious life
Willie Brown lived through difficult times in the 1950s and 60s and had to experience social upheavals which were part of the American landscape then. As a stud at the Grambling Estate, he was not yet drafted. He had to look for a free agent in 1963 which quite didn’t work out either. Only when he signed up with Denver Broncos did he taste success and fame. From 1967 to 1978, he played for Oakland and became a national sensation. In 1984, he was admitted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. After retirement, he continued his career as a coach for the Raiders until 1988. The Sporting News ranked him Number 50 in its list of 100 Greatest Football Players.
Teammates react and express grief
It should be noted that Cliff Branch passed away in August, making Brown the second Raiders superstar to pass away in a span of two months. In fact, Branch and Brown were extremely important to the Raiders team in the 70s and 80s. The outpouring of grief and support was quick and swift on Twitter. Derek Carr, the current star of the Raiders expressed his grief poignantly in a tweet. The quarterback declared that he is never going to forget Brown welcoming him on the stage, into the Raiders family. Scott Bair, Raiders Insider on NBC, shared his sorrow and disappointment on Twitter too.
Survived by his 3 kids and wife, Brown will be remembered as a hero and a cornerback that gave millions of football fans inspiration. He will forever be cherished for his perseverance and integrity.