“We didn’t think about your skin color or your accent or what church you went to. What mattered was that you lived up to your word, pulled your own weight and looked out for your friends,” Rooney, who was one of the first NFL owners to sign multiple black players, wrote in his memoir.
“I would never quite experience anything like being a Pittsburgh Steeler, playing for Mr. Rooney and the Steeler organization that had such a rich history of just lining up and kicking ass and winning,” former linebacker Kevin Greene said last summer at his Hall of Fame induction. “It was awesome to be a part of that, playing in front of the Steeler Nation and feeding off that energy from those fans.
“Make no mistake, it was the pinnacle of my football life. Mr. Rooney, thank you.”
Rooney’s father, Art, founded the Steelers in 1933 and Dan Rooney eventually succeeded his father as the team’s primary owner. Dan Rooney was the team president from 1975 to 2002 and became the Steelers’ chairman in 2003. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
The NFL’s “Rooney Rule,” which mandates that teams interview at least one minority candidate for head coaching and senior football operation jobs, was implemented in 2002 and is named for the longtime Steelers owner.
President Barack Obama appointed Rooney as the U.S. ambassador to Ireland in 2009, a Cheap Packer Jerseys Cheap Original Soccer Jerseys position he held until December of 2012.