Modell Family Asks Browns NOT to Mention Art’s Passing

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — In a surprising reversal, the Cleveland Browns will make no reference to the team’s former owner, Art Modell, before Sunday’s season opening game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The decision comes after Modell’s family, namely his sons David and John Modell, reached out to Browns management to request that the team not mention the late Browns and Baltimore Ravens owner, who died early Thursday morning.

On Friday, FOX 8 Sports Director John Telich reported that the NFL had reached out to every franchise, asking teams to take appropriate action to honor Modell, who owned the Browns from 1961 to 1995, before signing a deal to move the Browns to Baltimore on November 6, 1995; a move that many Browns fans still have not forgotten.

Modell also helped build and develop the league’s powerful television presence, and was most notably involved with the creation of Monday Night Football, bringing the first ever Monday Night to Cleveland Municipal Stadium on September 21, 1970.

However, early Saturday, as thousands of Ravens fans flocked to M&T Bank Stadium to pay their last respects to Modell in a public viewing, the Modell family contacted the Browns to request that no mention be made to Art’s death prior to Sunday’s season opening game.

Browns spokesman Neal Gulkis tells FOX 8 that the team had been planning to honor Modell’s contributions to the franchise and NFL with a brief statement over the public address system, but not with a  traditional moment of silence.

Stay with FOX 8 News and http://www.fox8.com for any new information on the death of Art Modell.