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On Upshaw

What they are saying about NFL Hall of Famer and NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw, who died Wednesday night:

August 22, 2008

'Gene Upshaw's career successes as a professional football player and a union leader are unparalleled. . . . He was and will remain a part of the fabric of our lives and of the Raider mystique and legacy.'

--Al Davis,

Oakland Raiders owner

'Gene Upshaw did everything with great dignity, pride, and conviction. He was the rare individual who earned his place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame both for his accomplishments on the field and for his leadership of the players off the field.'

--Roger Goodell,

NFL commissioner

'Few people in the history of the National Football League have played the game as well as Gene and then had another career in football with so much positive impact on the structure and competitiveness of the entire league as Gene.'

-- Paul Tagliabue,

former NFL commissioner

'People can say what they want to say about Gene. They didn't like him. He was too brash. He didn't stroke them the right way. But Gene always told you the truth. Gene got the job done when it boils down to it. His legacy will go on forever.'

-- Kevin Mawae,

NFLPA president and Tennessee Titans center

'He always was able to keep things in perspective, and maintained a positive attitude. While he was a strong advocate for the players, at the end of the day, he really wanted to do what was right for the game.'

--Mark Murphy,

Green Bay Packers president

'I think any player who touched our game the last 20 years has been positively influenced by his leadership. . . . You continue to look back over the last 20 years and he's done nothing but improve the game for players.'

-- Jeff Saturday,

Colts center and player representative

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