The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced today the passing of owner Malcolm Glazer at age 85. Under the Glazer family ownership and direction, the Bucs went from SportsCenter comedy fodder to moving into a new stadium and building a Super Bowl championship level franchise in just seven short years.
While sometimes accused by being distracted by the family’s interest in Premier League’s Manchester United in England, a team the Glazers own 90% of, the Glazer patriarch was active in the local Tampa Bay community and founded the Glazer Family Foundation which funds various children’s groups and was a major part of the 2010 expansion of the Glazer Children’s Museum.
Commissioner Roger Goodell released the following statement on behalf of the league:
Malcolm Glazer was the guiding force behind the building of a Super Bowl-champion organization. His dedication to the community was evident in all he did, including his leadership in bringing Super Bowls to Tampa Bay. Malcolm’s commitment to the Bucs, the NFL and the people of the Tampa Bay region are the hallmarks of his legacy. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Linda, their six children and the entire Glazer family.
Former Coach John Gruden is quoted in the Tampa Bay times as saying about Glazer’s passing, “He was a genuine, hard-working, one-of-a-kind man. He was a friend, a trailblazer and I’ll miss him.”
Reaction to Glazer’s passing is not as respectful in Manchester where the Glazer family is seen as detrimental to the club by many supporters despite more than a decade of success and continued recognition as being one of the elite soccer clubs worldwide. United fans regularly call for the team to reinvest profits in players instead of using the money to offset the family’s debts incurred buying the team. Rumors had spread in the British press earlier in the week that Glazer had even passed away last Thursday, causing some celebration with fans on Twitter.
Glazer had not been involved in the neither the Buccaneers’ or United’s day-to-day management in some time as he suffered repeated strokes in 2006. According to the family’s statement, Glazer’s wife Linda along with her sons will continue to run both franchises.