It is with sadness we at ESPN learned this evening of the passing of our former premier NFL reporter John Clayton, as announced by the Seattle Seahawks, a team he covered on radio and in print since 1990. John joined ESPN in 1995 and was ubiquitous across all ESPN platforms – TV, radio, online and print – for more than two decades.
He appeared frequently on SportsCenter, Sunday NFL Countdown and NFL Live and in recognition of his journalistic excellence, in 2007 he received the Dick McCann Memorial Award and was inducted into the writers’ wing of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. He also starred in one of the most popular “This is SportsCenter” commercials in the long history of that campaign in which upon completing a report on air, he ripped off a mock shirt and tie, released “his” long hair and cranked heavy metal music.
Our thoughts are with his wife, Pat, family and friends.
This statement is from John’s friend and longtime colleague Patrick Stiegman, ESPN Vice President, Global Digital Content:
“John was truly one of a kind, a Hall of Famer in every sense of the word. A trail-blazing, cross-platform voice at ESPN who helped define the role of ‘Insider,’ he was proud to be a gritty newspaper reporter at heart and his connections across the league were unmatched.
“One of the great honors of my career was being asked to induct JC into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and yet his quick wit, willing smile, loyal friendship and devotion as a husband to his wonderful wife Pat is what I’ll always remember. He impacted so many and will be missed by all.”
Rest In Peace, The Professor. pic.twitter.com/xFGdTYstnT
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) March 19, 2022
John Clayton, one of our NFL insiders who expertly covered the league for more than 20 years at ESPN, died Friday at 67 after a brief illness.
We all learned something from "The Professor" over the years and we will miss him dearly. pic.twitter.com/bfiPCPUYZo
— ESPN (@espn) March 19, 2022
Longtime Hall of Fame Selector and NFL writer/insider John Clayton has passed away at the age of 67.
His impact and contribution to the game of football will be missed. pic.twitter.com/kRtnAXWeiF
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) March 19, 2022
John Clayton will be remembered in so many ways, from how he looked after his wife Pat, to the mark he made in reporting, to the standard he set. He dedicated his life to his wife and to football. He was a pioneer, a caretaker, a Hall of Famer and a slayer, in every sense. pic.twitter.com/34rFeSjiEW
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 19, 2022
John Clayton passed away today at a Seattle area hospital. His wife Pat and sister Amy were at his side and communicated earlier he passed peacefully after a brief illness.
We loved John. We are mourning his loss.
Pat has asked the @Seahawks to release further information.
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) March 19, 2022
John Clayton was the kindest person. This was my first sideline job for the NFL. He found me, gave me advice, gave me some information for the broadcast and as always, wanted to talk about Braddock, PA. Thank you for everything John, I am so grateful for your friendship. RIP ♥️ pic.twitter.com/i28uOSexT0
— Joy Taylor (@JoyTaylorTalks) March 19, 2022
We join the sports community in mourning the passing of Hall of Fame broadcaster and Seattle legend, John Clayton. Our thoughts are with his friends and family. pic.twitter.com/PG3lY0aanh
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) March 19, 2022
My friend of 22 years John Clayton died. He was one of those colleagues who was not only always eager to help you, but went above and beyond to help. He took his work seriously, with all his files and spreadsheets, but not himself. RIP to a gentleman and Hall of Famer.
— Seth Wickersham (@SethWickersham) March 19, 2022
A kind and decent man. RIP. https://t.co/JWKueOZL4X
— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) March 19, 2022
— james andrew miller (@JimMiller) March 19, 2022
RIP John Clayton! He was a pros pro, Pittsburgh guy, smart tireless worker, funny, witty, friend and mentor to many, compassionate, personable, Pro Football Hall of Famer, a blessing to the entire NFL, and a LEGEND! 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/71NX1hocNq
— Jason Taylor (@JasonTaylor) March 19, 2022
Incredibly saddened by the passing of John Clayton, who was such a great teammate. You might remember his information or the greatest SC commercial ever created starring John. But my enduring image of John was him patiently caring for his wife, Pat. God bless John as he deserves. https://t.co/FaucwthamU
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) March 19, 2022
I'm stunned to hear about John Clayton passing away. He was so kind to me always. We could talk forever about family, football and our industry. He introduced me to his wife Pat whom he adored and cared for with his whole heart. John was one-of-a-kind and will be missed.💔
— Amy Lawrence (@ALawRadio) March 19, 2022