WASHINGTON – Bobby Mitchell, the first black player to serve with the Washington Redskins and who was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame, has passed away. He was 84 years old.
Mitchell served with the Cleveland Browns and Redskins during his career. He entered the Hall of Fame in 1982. The Hall of Fame reported Sunday night that Mitchell’s family notified them that he passed away in the afternoon, but gave no further details.
“The sport has lost a true legend,” said David Baker, president and CEO of the Hall of Fame in a statement. “Bobby was an amazing player, a talented executive and a true gentleman with everyone who was teammate or competed against.”RELATED
When Mitchell signed with the Redskins in 1962, the team was the last in the NFL to break the racial barrier. After completing his first four seasons in Cleveland, he totaled seven more with Washington and retired with the second-most yards on offense.
Mitchell became a scout for the Redskins and then served as an assistant to the general manager.
“I never knew someone who had his passion for football,” said Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. “Not only was he one of the most influential individuals in franchise history, he was one of the greatest characters I have ever met. He was a true gentleman and we will miss him greatly. ”
Mitchell played as a halfback for the Browns from 1958-61 and went on to be a catcher with the Redskins, leading the NFL in passing yards caught in 1962 and 1963. He was a three-time All-Pro pick, played in four Pro Bowls and his cumulative At 7,954 yards, it was the second highest in league history when he retired in 1968.