Some sad and unexpected news has rocked the Seattle sports community and NFL journalism.
John Clayton, longtime Seattle Seahawks and NFL insider, passed away on Friday at a Seattle-area hospital following a brief illness. He was only 67 years old.
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.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) March 19, 2022
We loved John. We are mourning his loss.
Pat has asked the @Seahawks to release further information.
Clayton began his career covering his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers, before moving across the country to work as the Seattle Seahawks’ beat reporter for the Tacoma News Tribune from 1986 to 1998. He was hired by ESPN in 1995 and worked for the network as one of its preeminent NFL insiders for more than 20 years. Of course we cannot lose sight of the fact that Clayton was the star of the greatest “This is SportsCenter” commercial ever.
After his national run with ESPN came to an end, Clayton joined Seattle Seahawks radio broadcasts as a sideline reporter in the 2017 season, a position he maintained up until his death. Clayton was also a fixture on Seattle sports radio for both 950 KJR and more recently 710 Seattle Sports, where he hosted The John Clayton Weekends on Saturdays.
Clayton is not just a Seattle sports radio icon but he was a legend in the sports journalism industry. He’s part of the unofficial “writer’s wing” of the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a recipient of what is now known as The Bill Nunn Memorial Award. Just a sampling of the tributes from those both locally and nationally will tell you how much he meant to the careers of so many.
This is really tough news. I knew John for almost 30 years and everything you'll hear about how hard-working and supportive he was is true. Best wishes to his, Pat. https://t.co/sysOx6foP3— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) March 19, 2022
RIP John Clayton, hard to believe he’s gone. Rose to become all-time great NFL beat reporter & later an @espn icon, but never forgot his Braddock, PA roots. No one more dogged, more dedicated. Truly one of a kind. Heartbroken for Pat. He loved her so much. @JohnClaytonNFL pic.twitter.com/i9Fl0GJkwJ— Mike Sando (@SandoNFL) March 19, 2022
Saddened to hear that John Clayton died today. He was always great to me, always appreciated how he carved out time for us every day during his really busy schedule. My condolences to Pat. It would be hard to find a husband who loved his wife more than John.— Jim Moore (@cougsgo) March 19, 2022
Man, this really hurts. When I first got into the Seattle sports scene, John was one of the first ppl who consistently had me on his show. Shit, some homies and my family only kept up with what I was doing from hearing me on the radio with him! That’s how big-time John was to us. https://t.co/XjboMuAu6g— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) March 19, 2022
Amazing seeing how much everyone in sports media loved and admired John Clayton. A legend and Hall of Famer who was always very kind to me. Encyclopedic knowledge of the sport— Danny Kelly (@DannyBKelly) March 19, 2022
I’m heartbroken to hear the news of my dear friend John Clayton’s passing. He was so kind and gracious with his time I will forever be grateful. I pray for peace that surpasses understanding for his wife Patricia and his friends and family. RIP pic.twitter.com/9iWw6RmQl2— Mark Schlereth (@markschlereth) 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
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
John Clayton is a legend and we were lucky enough to have him in Seattle for the longest time. Rock on, king pic.twitter.com/QPfbwgNRF3— Brian Floyd (@BrianMFloyd) March 19, 2022
I want to send my sincere condolences to John Clayton's family. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Thank you for your time and the love you always poured into your profession. You are a role model to many, in life and sport. RIP. pic.twitter.com/ECTyYgzT5u— WALTER JONES (@BigWalt71) March 19, 2022
Both the Seahawks and Steelers released statements on the passing of John.
Heartbroken.— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) March 19, 2022
Rest In Peace, The Professor. pic.twitter.com/xFGdTYstnT
Rest in peace, John Clayton. Condolences to his wife Pat and the Clayton family as they mourn the loss of the man affectionately known to everyone as ‘The Professor.’