Eddie Robinson Jr. couldn’t hold back tears Tuesday afternoon when reminiscing about the relationship between his family and New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who died at age 80 Tuesday morning of a heart attack.
“It’s a very personal loss,” said Robinson, son of legendary former Grambling State University football coach Eddie Robinson.
“It’s like we lost a family member. Words can’t describe what Mr. Steinbrenner meant to my family.”
Steinbrenner, best known for his fat wallet and willingness to use it in pursuit of victory at all costs, had a close relationship with Eddie Robinson and GSU stretching back more than 40 years.
The relationship was born when Robinson’s 1968 team played in the original Whitney Young Classic in Yankee Stadium and continued on from there.
The Yankees owner endowed a national scholar-athlete award in 1997 through the National Football Federation in Robinson’s honor. He sent a team representative to Robinson’s funeral in 2007 and was a key supporter in the more recent efforts to open the Eddie G. Robinson Museum on Grambling’s campus, as well.
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