NFL, Arizona community reacts to Bill Bidwill’s death
After the Arizona Cardinals announced the death of team owner Bill Bidwill at the age of 88 on Wednesday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, the Arizona Community and the NFL remembered the long time owner.
League commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement offering his condolences and highlighting Bidiwill’s career.
Bill Bidwill was part of the NFL family his entire life, starting from his days as a ball boy through his time as an owner,” the statement read. “Although never one to seek the spotlight, Bill had an incredible sense of humor and he made extraordinary contributions to the NFL. Bill’s vision brought the Cardinals, the NFL and multiple Super Bowls to Arizona. He was a leader in embracing diversity and employed the first African American female executive, and the first African American general manager and head coach tandem. We extend our condolences to Bill’s family and the Cardinals organization, which along with his faith, meant so much to him.
Prominent Arizona political figures including Gov. Doug Ducey and wife of late Senator John McCain, Cindy McCain, praised Bidwill for the impact he had on the community and nation.
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) October 2, 2019
In a statement, McCain said Bidwill was a leader in the Arizona community and was someone she was proud to know.
Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who has played for the organization for the past 16 seasons, read a tribute in remembrance of the late owner.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald reads a tribute in remembrance of Bill Bidwill. pic.twitter.com/5wJckl5MFu
— 98.7 Arizona Sports (@AZSports) October 2, 2019
Current and former Cardinals players including Patrick Peterson, Darnell Dockett, Ron Wolfley and Kurt Warner also extended their condolences and shared their thoughts on Bidwill.
Sending my thoughts and prayers to the entire Bidwill family. RIP Mr. Bidwill. 🙏🏿 pic.twitter.com/cbNxtjz4Ei
— Patrick Peterson /P2 (@P2) October 2, 2019
In a comment on the team’s Instagram page account, Dockett said he was glad to have known Bidwill for over a decade and wished he could have helped win a Super Bowl for him.
Wolfley spoke to the man Bidwill was.
Former Pro Bowl FB Ron Wolfley on passing of Bill Bidwill and his works of charity: “Even though he didn’t experience a lot of success as an NFL owner, he experienced a ton of success as a man.”
— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) October 2, 2019
In a statement, Warner shared his fondest memories with Bidwill and how deeply he will be missed.
“It is a sad day for all of us in the Cardinals family hearing of the passing of Mr. B,” the Cardinals Hall of Fame quarterback said. “I will remember fondly all the time I spent with him and the moments we shared together. Among my favorites were our conversation on the way to Tampa Bay for Super Bowl XLIII, the numerous interactions on the practice field and my most fond memories, the lunches we shared at the facility, in which I got to hear football and personal stories from a man that had a huge impact on the game and a community I love!
“To know Mr. B was to know a man that embodied kindness, humility and generosity. A man, although much of the time out of the spotlight, that had tremendous impact on the strides and successes of the NFL as a league.”
In addition to the notable NFL names and Arizona community leaders, teams from around the Valley are showing their support.
The Phoenix Suns and the Arizona Diamondbacks took to twitter to offer their best wishes to the Cardinals organization and the Bidwill family.
Bidwill has been the sole owner of the team since 1972 but has been with the organization since it was purchased by his father in 1932.