Press Release

July 7, 2011

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) released the following statement on the passing of former Baltimore Colt Tight End John Mackey:

“Baltimore lost one of its most beloved adopted sons last night, former Baltimore Colt tight end John Mackey.  John revolutionized the position and was the second tight end to be enshrined in the National Football League’s (NFL) Hall of Fame. 

“I send my deepest condolences to John’s wife, Sylvia, to whom he was married for 47 years, and his entire family, much of which continues to call Maryland home.  John Mackey has been taken from us much too soon, but what a life he lived.  He was one of the greatest collegiate and professional football players of all time and a tenacious and effective advocate for the players. For the last 10 years, he suffered from dementia and, with his beloved wife Sylvia, led the fight to convince the NFLPA and the NFL to establish the ‘88 Plan’, named for his uniform number, which provides adult day care and nursing home care for retired players suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.  John Mackey’s accomplishments and legacy on and off the field will endure in the hearts and minds of his fellow players, along with Baltimore Colts and football fans forever.”

Senator Cardin’s full statement for the Senate record can be found here.

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