Former Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns OT Orlando Brown has died at 40 years old.
Baltimore firefighters discovered Brown Friday after he was unresponsive at his home near the Inner Harbor, according to the Associated Press. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said there were no signs of trauma or suspicious activity.
Nicknamed “Zeus”, the 6-foot-7, 360-pound lineman started 119 games in a nine-year career interrupted by injury.
“He’s one of the greatest men I know – really a gentle giant away from the game,” said Ravens LB Ray Lewis, Brown’s former teammate. “He was the original Raven.
“When you heard his voice on the field, you knew things were going to be all right. He would say: ‘Keep playing. Keep fighting. Do it for us. Do it for your teammates. Lew, Lew, keep it up!’ I can almost hear that voice right now. And, oh, how he loved his sons. They lost a great father. So sad, just so sad.”
Brown was infamously struck in the eye by the penalty flag of referee Jeff Triplette during a Browns game in 1999. After leaving the field, Brown returned to the field and shoved Triplette to the ground, then filed a $200 million lawsuit, claiming that the injury prematurely shortened his career. Brown was initially suspended until the league learned that Brown had been temporarily blinded in one eye. Read more