Cortez Kennedy, a former Seattle Seahawks tackle, was found dead at the age of 48 at his Orlando home on Tuesday.
TMZ, who first broke the story, reported that Kennedy was alone at the time of death, and there didn’t appear to be anything “suspicious” activity involved in the death. Orlando Police Department officer Wanda Miglio spoke to USA Today and expressed a similar sentiment. Even so, an investigation will still be conducted.
Cortez Kennedy’s death was also confirmed by a statement from the Seattle Seahawks team.
“Cortez Kennedy has been a pillar of the Seahawks franchise since joining the team as a rookie in 1990,” said the team in a statement. Tez was the heart and soul of the Seahawks through the 1990s and endeared himself to 12s all across the Pacific Northwest as a player who played with a selfless and relentless approach to the game.
Tez was an NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Pro Football Hall of Famer, and Seahawks Ambassador, but more than his on-field accomplishments, he was a loyal son, father, teammate and friend to many, possessing a larger-than-life personality and an infectious laugh.
We extend our warmest thoughts and prayers to his parents, Ruby and Joe Harris, daughter Courtney, and entire family on the unfortunate loss of a life-long Seahawk. We are proud to have been represented ted by such a special person.”
Kennedy was born in Osceola, Arkansas in 1968, though he grew up in Wilson, Arkansas. He started off at a community college, before transferring to the University of Miami, by aid of a football scholarship.
Gentle Giant who embraced & loved his teammates, even undeserving rookies. Love you Tez
— Brock Huard (@BrockESPN) May 23, 2017
Cortez Kennedy spent his entire 11-season career as a tackle for the Seattle Seahawks. He was the third overall draft pick in 1990 and was an eight-time Pro Bowler. He’s been hailed as a bright light during a rather glum period of the Seahawks’ history.
In 2012, Kennedy was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, making him the second ever Seahawks player to be inducted. During his acceptance speech, Kennedy expressed great humility and thanked the people in his life who he felt had made his dreams possible.
“Growing up in Wilson, Arkansas, it never crossed my mind that someday I’d be standing here, with all of these wonderful players in the Hall of Fame. I’ve been truly blessed – blessed to have been surrounded by so many people that care, blessed to have supporters on and off the field, and blessed to have great parents to keep me humble.”
Despite his many successes, Cortez Kennedy never achieved national fame, but it’s clear that’s not what he was striving for.
Cortez Kennedy leaves behind his parents, an ex-wife, and one daughter.
Following the news of Cortez’s death, Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker also released a statement.
“The entire Hall of Fame family is stunned and deeply saddened to learn the news of Cortez Kennedy’s passing. On behalf of the Hall of Fame Board of Trustees, Cortez’s fellow Hall of Famers, and our staff, we extend our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and fans.”
“Cortez will be remembered not only for all his great achievements on the football field but how he handled himself off the field. He epitomized the many great values this game teaches which serves as inspiration to millions of fans.”
Baker is not the only person to speak out about Cortez Kennedy’s untimely passing. Many of Kennedy’s peers in the sports world have sent their condolences to Cortez and his family on Twitter.
We remember one of our family's most beloved individuals and proudest icons, Cortez Kennedy. pic.twitter.com/M7UD5XmSHv
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) May 23, 2017
R.I.P Cortez Kennedy… Gone way too early. Thanks for always sharing knowledge to a young buck like me… #TheU
— Reggie Wayne (@ReggieWayne_17) May 23, 2017
In 1990 Seahawks draft Cortez Kennedy 3rd overall. Great career, great man. Now gone at 48. RIP Tez. NFL HOF, Seahawk ROH, ARK. BHOF.
— Jim Zorn (@JimZorn10) May 23, 2017
I'm in shock! The great Cortez was just walking through the favility the other day it feels like! RIP to one of the greatest to ever do it????????
— Cassius Marsh (@KingCash_7191) May 23, 2017
The story is still developing and will be updated as new information is released.
Tell us, what do you think of this unfortunate situation? Were you a fan of Cortez Kennedy? You can sound off in the comment section below.
[Featured Image By Erza Shaw/Getty Images]