ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) - Western New Yorkers, NFL fans and members of the Buffalo Bills organization are reacting to the death of Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson.
In the included video, you can watch Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz speak about Wilson’s life and impact on the region. The statement was followed by a question and ansswe
Review statements and messages on social media below:
Buffalo Bills, from Russ Brandon: I speak for everyone within the Bills organization when I say that we are all suffering a deep and profound sadness. We have lost our founder, our mentor, our friend, and this is a very difficult time for us all.
Buffalo Sabres Owners Terry and Kim Pegula: “The entire Buffalo Sabres organization was saddened to learn of the passing of Ralph Wilson, Jr. His contributions to the city of Buffalo over his 50-plus years of owning the Bills were immeasurable and his legacy in Western New York and the sports world will be long-lasting. With his passion for the game and never-ending loyalty to the great fans of Buffalo, he embodied what all owners in sports strive to be. On behalf of the Buffalo Sabres, we would like to offer heartfelt condolences to his wife, Mary, the Wilson family and everyone in the Buffalo Bills organization.”
Jill Kelly: Oh my goodness! Our hearts are broken. #RalphWilson The entire #BuffaloBills community mourns! LORD heal. Please heal our team community!
Thurman Thomas: My heart is heavy, buffalo bills community unite. U will always be my boss #ralphwilson god bless the Wilson family pic.twitter.com/zAydi6dkIv
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz: I am deeply saddened to hear of Ralph Wilson’s passing. He was a man of great integrity who kept his word to our community. My thoughts are with Mr. Wilson’s family and the entire @buffalobills organization at this sad time.
Congressman Chris Collins: The people of Buffalo and Western New York have lost a true gentleman and friend. While not a local resident, Ralph Wilson keenly understood what it meant to be a Western New Yorker and how much the team he built means to our community. It was my great honor as a Member of Congress and as the former Erie County Executive to work with him, and I am deeply saddened by his loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and the entire Buffalo Bills organization during this time.
US Senator Chuck Schumer: Ralph was a hero for the Bills, Western New York and for all of football. He gave Western New York an institution that became as much a part of the community’s DNA as harsh winters, hard work and the glorious Falls. He loved the Bills and Western New York with every fiber of his being and the legacy of my dear friend will reverberate in Western New York and in the game of football for generations to come.
Congressman Brian Higgins: Today Western New York lost a champion. Ralph Wilson believed in Buffalo, invested here and remained committed to this community for his remarkable 55 year tenure as owner of the Buffalo Bills. In my encounters with him, it was clear he was a man who knew professional football and sincerely was in it for the love of the game. He was a generous supporter of the community and a World War II veteran. We are forever grateful Mr. Wilson for his dedication to Western New York and our nation.
Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw: I was sad to learn of Mr. Wilson’s passing this afternoon. Everyone in Buffalo is a Bills fan, but Buffalo itself had no greater fan than Ralph Wilson. Born and raised in the City of Buffalo, I have been a Bills fan my entire life. Some of my greatest memories as a child were watching games with my family.
As an adult, I grew a greater appreciation for the Bills as an organization, not just an NFL team. Through Mr. Wilson’s leadership, they remained committed to this area, even when many other teams moved around to more lucrative communities. At this time, my thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Wilson’s family and the Bills organization.
Oakland Raiders: Mark Davis, Carol Davis and the rest of the Raider family wish to express our condolences to the Wilson family at this time.
Pro Football Hall of Fame: An avid supporter of the Hall of Fame, our condolences go out to the family of Ralph Wilson, Jr. and @buffalobills.
Indianapolis Colts: Rest in peace Ralph Wilson. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.