Bobby Mitchell, who became the first black player on the Redskins before going on to spend decades in the team's front office after his Hall of Fame playing career had ended, died on Sunday according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was 84.
“The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Bobby Mitchell. The Game lost a true legend today. Bobby was an incredible player, a talented executive and a real gentleman to everyone with whom he worked or competed against. His wife Gwen and their entire family remain in our thoughts and prayers. The Hall of Fame will forever keep his legacy alive to serve as inspiration to future generations,” Hall of Fame President & CEO David Baker said in a statement.
Mitchell was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the eighth round of the 1958 draft. He was traded to Washington in 1962 and by the time his 11-year playing career ended, he was third in NFL history with 14,078 total yards.
He earned four Pro Bowl nods. He started in Washington's front office immediately after his playing career ended, eventually rising up to be the team's assistant general manager. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983.
“I was extremely saddened to hear the news about the passing of the great Bobby Mitchell. Bobby was a Hall of Fame player and executive and represented the Washington Redskins organization with integrity for over 50 years. His passion for the game of football was unmatched by anyone I have ever met," Redskins team owner Dan Snyder said in a statement.
"Not only was he one of the most influential individuals in franchise history, but he was also one of the greatest men I have ever known. He was a true class act and will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Gwen and the entire Mitchell family during this time."
So sorry to hear of the passing former @Redskins Bobby Mitchell. I worked with Bobby for 23 years. He was a friend and mentor. What I remember most was his guidance and support when I was an Intern. He was a Hall of Famer on the field and off! @nflnetwork— Charley Casserly (@CharleyCasserly) April 6, 2020