The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Wednesday that the legendary running back Gale Sayers has died at 77 years old.
The four-time first-team All-Pro accumulated 9,435 yards over seven seasons with the Bears, claiming two rushing titles along the way. Nearly 5,000 of those yards came on the ground. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame on the first go-around in 1977.
Bulls great Scottie Pippen tributed Sayers, famously nicknamed the Kansas Comet, on Twitter after news of his passing broke:
"Gale Sayers was someone who I admired long before I arrived in Chicago," Pippen wrote. "I loved his approach to the game and of course, how he played it. He inspired me to be great in a city that loves sports like no other. RIP to one of the NFL's best ever. #KansasComet"
“All those who love the game of football mourn the loss of one of the greatest to ever play this Game with the passing of Chicago Bears legend Gale Sayers,” Pro Football Hall of Fame president David Baker said in a statement. “He was the very essence of a team player – quiet, unassuming and always ready to compliment a teammate for a key block.
"Gale was an extraordinary man who overcame a great deal of adversity during his NFL career and life.”
May he rest in peace.