CLEVELAND — Art Modell’s family has asked the Cleveland Browns not to acknowledge the former owner at today’s season opener.
The Browns had planned an “appropriate recognition” for Modell, who died on Thursday at the age of 87. But Modell’s son, David, spoke to Browns president Mike Holmgren and requested the team not do anything to recognize the late owner who remains vilified by many Cleveland fans for moving his team to Baltimore after the 1995 season.
The Browns will grant the family’s wish.
Any tribute for Modell before today’s game against Philadelphia could have triggered an ugly backlash by Browns fans.
Team spokesman Neal Gulkis said the Browns had intended to have a tribute read over the public address system.
The NFL has asked all its teams to observe a moment of silence or acknowledge Modell, who owned the Browns from 1961-95.
A tribute to Modell was held in Baltimore on Saturday, where Ravens fans lined up by the hundreds to pay respects to the man who brought football back to their to their city.
RAMS: Middle linebacker James Laurinaitis has signed a five-year contract extension.
Laurinaitis has led the Rams in tackles all three of his seasons with triple-digit totals every year.
BRONCOS: Released backup quarterback Caleb Hanie on the eve of their opener and promoted defensive tackle Sealver Siliga from the practice squad.