The BC Lions announced the passing of owner David Braley at the age of 79 on Monday.
Braley was also a former owner of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Toronto Argonauts.
Following his passing, tributes poured in from around the CFL:
The BC Lions Football Club is very saddened to announce that our owner and champion David Braley passed away peacefully this morning at his home in Burlington, Ontario.
Randy Ambrosie - CFL Commissioner - released the following statement:
David Braley, who passed peacefully this morning at his Burlington, Ontario home, was our champion in every sense of the word. He won Grey Cups as owner of the BC Lions in 2000, 2006 and 2011 and the 100th Grey Cup as owner of the Toronto Argonauts in 2012.
He also championed the CFL itself, as a member of its Board of Governors, its Chair and as an interim Commissioner. Most of all, though, he championed an idea with passion and purpose: that the Grey Cup, the CFL and Canadian football play an incredibly important role in Canadian life and culture, and they deserve to be supported and cherished.
David didn’t just talk about this idea. He lived it. An owner of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, as well as the Argos and Lions, he often stepped in to sustain and turn around franchises when they needed him the most.
He contributed mightily to amateur football. And he famously held everyone, from colleagues to Commissioners, to account, always wearing his fierce love for our game and our league on his sleeve.
David was bigger than life in so many ways. He was an entrepreneur who started a business in his garage and grew it into a successful empire. He was a philanthropist who contributed millions to health care, research and amateur sport. He was a proud Canadian engaged in public life who became a Senator and, ultimately, an officer of the Order of Canada.
Just as importantly, he was, to so many of us and certainly to me, a dear friend. He once told a story about the time when he was a young boy who rode his bicycle clear across his hometown of Hamilton, just to get the autograph of his favourite CFL player. Throughout his life, he never lost that passion or that drive.
We at the CFL are deeply grateful for his countless contributions. Even as his health failed, he expressed his desire for a smooth and stable transition for the BC Lions, and his confidence in their future. We are deeply saddened by this loss. David Braley will be forever remembered as a CFL legend.
Wally Buono - Former head coach/GM - BC Lions
It was heartbreaking to receive the call that David passed away. It’s a sad day for all the many people that David’s life touched. Condolences to his family. I love my friend!
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Our thoughts are with the Braley family and our CFL family in BC today.
Edmonton Football Team
The EE Football Team offers our condolences to the entire BC Lions organization. David Braley was an influential member of the CFL family and his contributions to the league will not be forgotten.
TSN's Farhan Lalji
In recent years I’ve been as critical as anyone of his stewardship of the club. But there is no question BC Lions wouldn’t be here today without him. In a pandemic you knew he would pay the bills & do right by people. You’d be hard pressed to find a bigger supporter of the CFL.
Mark Cohon - Former CFL Commissioner
My thoughts and prayers are with the family of David Braley. He was an icon in the CFL, passionate about our game and our country. I respected him and enjoyed our relationship. RIP David.
The McMaster community is saddened to learn of the passing of David Braley, a philanthropist, businessman, sports franchise owner, art lover and champion of all things #HamOnt. He was a generous, visionary supporter of McMaster, and he will be missed.
Paul LaPolice - Head Coach Ottawa Redblacks
Very saddened by David Bradley’s passing. He was a great champion of CFL. let’s not forget that he not only was crucial to football in BC but he stepped up and took over the Argos when they had troubles getting ownership and did it quietly and not expecting any fanfare for it.
The Tiger-Cats mourn the loss of former owner and iconic Hamiltonian, David Braley.
The Calgary Stampeders send their condolences to the Braley family and the BC Lions organization.
Solomon Elimimian - Saskatchewan Roughriders (BC Lions 2010-18)
My condolences and Prayers to The Braley Family. Mr. Braley’s commitment to excellence was evident. The CFL has lost an Icon but his Legacy will live on. Thank you for providing stability to an organization that let me and many others live out their dreams.