The passing Thursday of former Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino at age 71 prompted reactions from many in the Boston sports community. While famous for mispronouncing the names of some of Boston’s star athletes, Menino was always a supporter of sports programs at every level.
Here’s a collection of comments and statements from teams and figures within the Boston sports world.
Robert Kraft, New England Patriots owner, chairman, and CEO:
Today is a sad day for so many in Boston who are mourning the loss of Mayor Menino. Personally, my three favorite memories were the phone calls that I received from the Mayor after each of our Super Bowl victories inviting the Patriots to celebrate with our fans in downtown Boston. I was so happy to accept his invitations. My thoughts and prayers are with Angela and the entire Menino family today.
Cam Neely, Boston Bruins team president:
“The Boston Bruins organization is deeply saddened by the passing of Mayor Menino and we would like to express our deepest condolences to his family. Mayor Menino was synonymous with the City of Boston and the professional sports teams that represented it. His passion was always evident and his support unwavering. He will be deeply missed.”
John Henry, Red Sox principal owner
“The passing of Mayor Menino is a great loss for the City of Boston and for us personally. His passion for this city was legendary; his passion for the Red Sox extraordinary. We were fortunate to learn from his wisdom when we arrived in Boston over a decade ago. His support and leadership in the preservation of Fenway Park was critical in saving this ballpark. We will miss his spirit, and we will miss his friendship.”
Joann E. Flaminio and Thomas S. Grilk, president and executive director of the Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the Boston Marathon:
The B.A.A. expresses our profound sadness at Mayor Menino’s passing, together with our deep gratitude for the magnificent support to the Marathon, the B.A.A. and the hundreds of thousands of athletes who have run in Boston under his watchful eye. He was always one of the first spectators to arrive at the Marathon and the last to leave, including in 2014. He touched the event and the athletes in every way, every year. The race is diminished without him.
Mayor Menino’s support for the Boston Marathon and the B.A.A. never wavered. His leadership after the bombings which occurred on Marathon Day in 2013 resulted in the City becoming synonymous with resiliency and strength. “Boston Strong” was his hallmark, and his compassion for the family of the victims and the survivors directly led to the quick formation of The One Fund Boston. Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.
Wycliffe Grousbeck, H. Irving Grousbeck, Stephen Pagliuca and Robert Epstein, Boston Celtics Managing Partners
The entire Boston Celtics organization and our ownership group are deeply saddened by the passing of our beloved former Mayor, and dear friend of the Celtics, Thomas M. Menino. Mayor Menino’s love and devotion for the city of Boston and its residents will long be remembered by those who knew him, as well as future generations of Bostonians, who will benefit from his vision. We keep his wife Angela, daughter Susan, son Thomas, Jr. and his entire family in our thoughts at this time.
Charlie Jacobs, Boston Bruins principal:
I was saddened today to learn of the passing of Mayor Menino and on behalf of the Jacobs Family I would like to express my deepest condolences to his family. My family and I witnessed first hand how Mayor Menino’s vision and leadership helped transform Boston into one of the greatest cities in the world. Today we join all Bostonians in mourning our loss and celebrating Mayor Menino’s enduring legacy.
David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox player (via Twitter)
RIP...mayor menino ...a good man and a personal friend....que descanses en paz pic.twitter.com/ilXczcXZbt— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) October 30, 2014
Vince Wilfork, Patriots defensive lineman
I’ve been to some events with him, and it’s sad. It’s a sad day. Our thoughts go out to his family … Like you say, in the community, he’s well known. It’s just a tough break, and hopefully we can all see what he did and what he meant to this city and we can carry on his legacy, because he was always out there. But it’s sad and it’s tough.
Tom Werner, Red Sox chairman
“Mayor Menino taught us that cities are neighborhoods, and nowhere was that felt more strongly over these 13 years than in our own backyard at Fenway Park. For all of our desires to preserve and protect this ballpark, I don’t know that it could have happened without the impassioned leadership of Mayor Menino. We are grateful that he was with us to celebrate our championships, and to throw out the Ceremonial First Pitch when Fenway celebrated its 100th anniversary. It’s hard to imagine a mayor who was more beloved. We are honored to have worked with him.”