During the year 2016, we saw the passing of great many sports stars. Here are just a few:
Muhammad Ali: The “Greatest” passed away after a long battle with Parkinson Disease at age 74. A great boxing champion and an even greater fighter for human rights.
Arnold Palmer: Palmer was referred to as the “King” and noted as one of the greatest golfers of all time, passed away at age 87 from heart failure.
Buddy Ryan: Ryan was a defensive coaching wiz who created the “46 defense” that led the Chicago Bears to a Super Bowl Championship in 1985. Buddy passed away at age 85 from a long battle with cancer.
Craig Sager: Sager was a NBA Court side reporter for TNT who was known for his colorful attire when conducting interviews on the sideline. Craig lost his battle with leukemia at age 65.
Monte Irvin: At the time of Monte’s passing, he was the oldest living member of the Negro Leagues who finished his baseball professional career with the New York Giants. He was 96 years old and died of natural causes.
Dennis Green: Green was a former NFL Head Coach for the Minnesota Vikings and the Arizona Cardinals. A proponent of the West Coast Offense, Green passed away at age 67 from cardiac arrest.
Will Smith: Smith was a former Pro Bowl standout for the New Orleans Saints as a defensive end, Smith was killed in a road rage incident in New Orleans. He was 34 years of age.
Arnold Sword: Sword was a college standout that played for the Oakland Raiders. Arnold was a personal friend and often provided me insight to my articles. Arnold died of heart failure at the age of 67.
Nate Thurmond: A renowned NBA big man, Thurmond was a 7 time NBA All-Star for several teams including the Golden State Warriors. Thurmond passed away from leukemia at age 74.
Rashaan Salaam: Salaam was a former Heisman Trophy Award winner at the University of Colorado. He was found dead under suspicious circumstances in Boulder Colorado. He was 42 years of age.
Jose Fernandez: A Cuban born Major League Baseball player, Fernandez’s bright future was cut short in a boating accident at the age of 24.
The Concept of Sports extends its heartfelt condolences to the families of these sports heroes and honors the contributions to their respective sports.