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Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
The Chiefs have released statements from general manager Carl Peterson and coach Herman Edwards regarding the death of Gene Upshaw:
Both Peterson and Edwards had a personal relationship with Upshaw and both gave heart-felt recollections of him.
"Gene Upshaw was the consummate professional in every way. On the football field, he was a true competitor and we had the pleasure of competing against him on numerous occasions, including Super Bowl XV when I was with the Philadelphia Eagles. I had the privilege of serving with Gene on several boards and committees, most notably the NFL Europe League Working Executives Committee and the NFL Youth Football Funding Board.
"In his role with the National Football League Players Association, Gene had the tremendous ability to get things done. He was steadfast in his convictions, but could always see the viewpoint of the other side. He was a great contributor to both the NFL and the NFLPA long after his Hall of Fame career as a player had concluded. His many contributions will always be remembered. His efforts have benefitted thousands of players privileged to play in the NFL over the past 25 years. On behalf of the entire Kansas City Chiefs organization, we will miss Gene Upshaw."
"It's a very sad day. I told my players that this was a guy who came into the league as a player and became a Hall of Fame player. He's the only player in NFL history to play in three different Super Bowls during three different decades; the '60s, '70s and '80s. He was a great, visionary guy for the league and for the players' rights and benefits.
"I can remember we were sitting at the Warrick Hotel in '82, before the players went on strike out there in New York. Gene sat at the table with us. We were all talking about getting a piece of the pie, open the books up, let the players see the owners' books. He took off his Players Association hat and said, 'I'm going to do what's right for the players, we have to make this a strong union.' Well, he was right. He did a lot of things for players and for ownership to unify our union. It goes way back, a lot of people don't know that. He was about the National Football League. He was about the integrity of the league. He was about how the players handled their job on a professional football field.
"And he loved the game. There's no doubt about it. He did everything in his power to make sure that the players understood that. This is an important league, there's a little fraternity of players, and you've got to respect that. So, with that said, it's going to be a big loss. No one's ever going to fill his shoes. They'll have another guy to represent the players and all that. He did a lot, taught me a lot as a young player and he's going to be missed. I played against him in the Super Bowl, played against him a couple times. He was a heckuva of a football player. He was a Raider, that's for sure, he was a true Raider. He will be missed."