Chris Doleman, who died last week after a battle with cancer, as well as Kobe Bryant and the eight other helicopter crash victims were honored with a moment of silence following player warmups prior to the start of Super Bowl LIV. At about 5:50 p.m. ET, the Chiefs and 49ers stood on the opposing sidelines to pay their respects.
Chis Carter, a Hall of Fame receiver and former teammate of Doleman during his time with the Vikings, spoke about Doleman duringon Wednesday. Carter said that he and Doleman were actually baptized at the Jordan River three years ago during a trip to Israel.
"I've got great memories," Carter said of his time with Doleman, "and that's what I'll take with me."
Bryant, an NBA legend who spent his entire 20-year career with the Lakers, was part of last Sunday's tragic helicopter crash. Also on board was Bryant's 13 year old daughter, Gianna, John Altobelli, his wife Keri, their daughter Alyssa, Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton, Christina Mauser, and Ara Zobayan.
Several players participating in Sunday's game paid homage to Bryant prior to the start of Super Bowl LIV. 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman penned , while San Francisco receiver Emmanuel Sanders will wear cleats honoring Bryant.
"I don't think just Los Angeles is mourning the loss of Kobe Bryant. Kobe was a special person," Goodell said, via NFL.com's Nick Shook. "I did have the opportunity to meet him. He obviously brought a lot to our world and I think all of us not only feel for the tragic events to his family but as well as everyone else who was a passenger on that helicopter. It's hard to understand and it's hard to process.
"I'm proud of, as the story unfolded unfortunately on Sunday, the way our players, the way our league responded, including a moment of silence during the [Pro Bowl] game, put his picture up and the way the fans responded to that. We did that again on Monday night when we started here on Monday night (the Super Bowl's opening night). So we as a league have been very responsive and I think respectful of somebody who contributed so much to sports. We also lost one of our own legends last night, Chris Doleman, who I personally was very fond of and meant a great deal to me and the league. I think both of those individuals will be seen on Sunday in some fashion in a respectful way."