When news of Gale Sayers' passing broke Wednesday morning, many that knew and admired the Kansas Comet took to social media to pay tribute to the Bears' legendary running back.
It is with great sadness the Chicago Bears mourn the loss of Bears Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers. Sayers amplified what it meant to be a Chicago Bear both on and off the field. He was regarded as an extraordinary teammate, leader, husband and father. He was 77. pic.twitter.com/cK8kS9ru8b— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) September 23, 2020
Bears Chairman George H. McCaskey: “Coach Halas said it best, when presenting Gale for induction at the Hall of Fame: ‘His like will never be seen again.’— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) September 23, 2020
Hall of Famer Dick Butkus: “Will miss a great friend who helped me become the player I became because after practicing and scrimmaging against Gale I knew I could play against anybody. We lost one of the best Bears ever and more importantly we lost a great person.”— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) September 23, 2020
The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Gale Sayers. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Ardie, and their entire family. We will forever keep his legacy alive to serve as inspiration for future generations.#HOFForever | @ChicagoBears pic.twitter.com/sLYdu9w0s2— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) September 23, 2020
Several former Bears players took to social media to pay their respects to Sayers:
Rest in heaven to Mr. Sayers #40— Matt Forte (@MattForte22) September 23, 2020
When I was drafted in 2008 he was our guide in Canton when we got to visit the HOF. Amazing inspiration before starting a career. Thanks for setting the standard for @ChicagoBears RB’s. You’ll be missed but always remembered.
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RIP Gale Sayers— cordarrelle patterson (@ceeflashpee84) September 23, 2020
Other athletes, celebrities, sports teams and media figures also paid their respects to Sayers:
Gale Sayers was someone who I admired long before I arrived in Chicago. 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 @ChicagoBears pic.twitter.com/Rc3zytUjQj— Scottie Pippen (@ScottiePippen) September 23, 2020
I asked Gale Sayers for the best advise he ever received. From his HS football coach: “when it’s you vs 1 person you should win 100% of the time, when it’s you vs 2 people you win 75% of the time. Set your expectations higher than others imagine, then exceed them.” RIP #BearDown pic.twitter.com/WrDKLzfEQH— ashton kutcher (@aplusk) September 23, 2020
My heart is broken over the loss of my dear friend, Gale Sayers.— Billy Dee Williams (@realbdw) September 23, 2020
Portraying Gale in Brian’s Song was a true honor and one of the nightlights of my career. He was an extraordinary human being with the the kindest heart.
My sincerest condolences to his family 💔#RIPGaleSayers pic.twitter.com/OyQRlwuznU
Gale Sayers did many great things over the course of his life. One of the best was his investment in helping Black children get adopted. He helped bring joy to a lot of families, including mine. Rest in peace, Kansas Comet.https://t.co/YsGSU5NoKW— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) September 23, 2020
i know many thing none of the stars of yesteryear could play today, but old heads talked about gale sayers like he was a superhero. hall of famer on the strength of five seasons.— bomani (@bomani_jones) September 23, 2020
More of Dan Quinn's appreciation for Gale Sayers: "He was so hard to tackle because he could make you miss with speed, he could make you miss with change of direction. ... He just looked like he was moving so much faster than everybody else. That’s a rare thing."— Dan Wiederer (@danwiederer) September 23, 2020
Mike Zimmer starts off his Wednesday availability offering condolences over the passing of Gayle Sayers. He went to his home when he was 11 years old to play pool with his father and one of his dad's players. Got his autograph on a football.— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) September 23, 2020
Gale Sayers' light never was intended to burn long. It was intended to burn brightest, and it did. Rest In Peace to a legendary football player, philanthropist, and believer.— Dan Pompei (@danpompei) September 23, 2020
Rest in peace, Gale Sayers. Legendary player and gentleman.— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) September 23, 2020
In sadness of Gale Sayers passing, it is a good day to watch Brian's Song.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) September 23, 2020
Sayers and @ChicagoBears teammate Brian Piccolo, who succumbed to cancer in 1970, were the NFL's first interracial roommates.
I believe Gale and Brian are having a joyful reunion while the rest of us mourn https://t.co/v2Uqyh1BdN
Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo made sports history as the NFL’s first interracial roommates and set a brilliant example for the world. Today we mourn the passing and celebrate the sensational life of the Kansas Comet, Gale Sayers. https://t.co/TCsdYNWCjY— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) September 23, 2020
A generation of Bears fans mourn loss of a legend who was most exciting player on many bad teams. Another generation knows No. 40 only from old highlights. Everyone can agree Gale Sayers was epitome of grace, on and off field, one of best Bears ever, who'll be missed. RIP, Gale.— David Haugh (@DavidHaugh) September 23, 2020
I flew on the same plane with Gale Sayers from Chicago to Miami when the Bears were about to meet the Colts in Super Bowl XLI.— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) September 23, 2020
Of course, he had Bears fans coming up to him non-stop for pictures, autographs ... and handled every one with a smile.
Seemed like such a gentleman.