NFL Commish Roger Goodell release emotional statement following ESPN journalist Chris Mortensen’s death

Amidst the excitement surrounding the contract extensions of Ryan Clark and Nick Saban’s transition to ESPN, the football world paused to remember the remarkable legacy of Chris Mortensen. Mortensen’s journey with ESPN commenced in 1991, marking the beginning of an illustrious career as an NFL columnist for the network.

Having dedicated 32 years to ESPN as a senior analyst, Mortensen bid farewell not only to the field but also to the world. His departure prompted a heartfelt message from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Roger Goodell pays homage to Chirs Mortensen

As the NFL community mourns the loss of Chris Mortensen, Roger Goodell joins them. He paid tribute to Mortensen’s remarkable legacy, expressing profound sadness at his passing. 

In a heartfelt statement, Goodell lauded the former analyst’s dedication and compassion, mentioning his relentless pursuit of news and the kindness he extended to all he encountered.

“It’s a sad day for everyone in the NFL. I admired how hard Chris worked to become one of the most influential and revered reporters in sports. He earned our respect and that of many others with his relentless pursuit of news but also with the kindness he extended to everyone he met,” the statement read.

The NFL commissioner continued, reflecting on Mortensen’s character and the void left by his passing, especially during each Sunday.

“He will be greatly missed by many of us in the league who were fortunate to know him well beyond the stories he broke each Sunday.”

Apart from Roger Godell, former NFL player Peyton Manning also offered his condolences in a social media post, writing that the league lost a true legend. 

Chris Mortensen’s impact extended beyond the boundaries of the football field. Throughout his illustrious journalism career, he earned a remarkable tally of 18 awards and garnered nominations for two Pulitzer Prizes. 

Chris Mortensen dies at 72

Renowned NFL journalist Chris Mortensen passed away on Sunday morning at the age of 72.  The news of his passing was announced on-air by ESPN on Sunday afternoon. The NFL Network also paid tribute to him during its coverage of the NFL scouting combine.

While the specifics of his death remain undisclosed, Mortensen had been battling cancer for several years, having been diagnosed with throat cancer in 2016. Amid his health struggles, he returned to ESPN after successful cancer treatments.

Prior to joining ESPN, he had contributed to The Sporting News and Sport magazine and served as a consultant for CBS’ “The NFL Today.” His journalism journey commenced in 1969 at the South Bay (Calif.) Daily Breeze after serving two years in the Army.

Throughout his tenure, the former analyst made significant contributions to ESPN’s coverage of the NFL, which evolved into year-round programming. He not only appeared on numerous network shows but also wrote for, shaping the network’s comprehensive coverage of the sport. In recognition of his remarkable career, Mortensen was honored with the Dick McCann Award by the Professional Football Writers of America in 2016.

Despite his immense professional success, the recently late reporter prioritized his health, family, and faith, leading him to announce his retirement after the NFL draft in the previous year. His retirement marked the end of an era in NFL journalism, leaving behind a legacy of excellence and dedication to the sport.

Though Chris Mortensen left the world, his contributions to the world of sports journalism will be remembered and cherished by fans and colleagues.

Shabiha Akter

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Shabiha, once a casual observer, has morphed into a die-hard NFL fan. She carefully dissects every play, trade, and strategy. Whether it's breaking down game highlights or predicting playoff outcomes, Shabiha is your go-to source for all things NFL.


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