Dr. Joel Dolittle, the first African American physician in the NFL, died Tuesday in Miami.
His death was announced by the Miami Dolphins, who announced the news of his death via Twitter.
The former NFL linebacker played for three teams and was drafted by the New York Jets in 1982.
Dolittle was also the first black player to play in the National Football League, starting for the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys in the 1980s.
He was also inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018.
In a tweet, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the news was “very sad news for our fans and the football community.”
“We lost a beloved friend and colleague of mine and we send our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” Goodell wrote.
“He touched so many lives and was an outstanding doctor who cared deeply for his patients.
He will be sorely missed.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.