The Browns have honored the request of Art Modell’s family and decided not to recognize his death prior to Sunday’s season opener against the Eagles.
Browns president Mike Holmgren talked with Modell’s son David, who asked on behalf of the family that nothing be done in Cleveland. The team’s original decision to “appropriately” recognize Modell’s death brought strong reaction from some Browns fans still angry at Modell’s decision to move the team in 1995.
The team had not planned a moment of silence or tribute to Modell, merely a brief statement of condolence to the Modell family similar to the statement the team released after his death on Thursday.
Every other city in the league will hold a moment of silence or tribute to Modell prior to their openers. But in Cleveland, feelings remain too raw. Letting it go avoids potential expressions of anger the Modells — and probably the Browns — would rather not see.
Modell owned the Browns from 1961-1995, but earned the vitriol of Browns fans when he decided to move the team to Baltimore after the ’95 season. Modell later said he did so to avoid filing bankrutpcy.