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'We're really heartbroken': From players to politicians, tributes pour in for former Texans president Jamey Rootes

Rootes is being remembered for his leadership in the sports world and as a mover and shaker in the community who made a lasting impression on all who met him.

HOUSTON — The news of the passing of longtime Texans president Jamey Rootes has sent shockwaves throughout the sports world and beyond. His wife Melissa said he passed away Sunday after a battle with mental health issues.

Rootes is being remembered for his leadership in the sports world and as a mover and shaker in the community who made a lasting impression on all who met him. He was also a best-selling author, public speaker and mentor.

"Jamey was a dedicated Houstonian who loved his city and touched so many lives through his professional, academic, and philanthropic work," Melissa Rootes said in a statement Monday night.

RELATED: 'Dedicated Houstonian' | Former Houston Texans president Jamey Rootes dies, family says

Rootes, who was 55, spent more than two decades with the Texans before leaving in February of 2021 and is credited with much of the team's success off the field.

"It's a sad day for us here. We're really heartbroken," Texans CEO Cal McNair said Tuesday morning. "He'll be missed by the Texans family, he'll be missed by the Houston community."

"It's obviously a tough situation, completely unexpected, very very sad," Current Texans president Greg Grissom said. "We’re holding each other up as Texans teammates, holding each other up and doing the best we can.”

Current and former Texans players are among those paying tribute to Rootes.

Rootes briefly served as president of the Houston Dynamo but stepped down last July for "personal reasons." Rootes is credited for working behind the scenes to help make Houston a World Cup city.

Rootes also taught at the University of Houston and Sam Houston State. He had just joined the staff at Rice University's Department of Sports Management a few days before his death.

Many who knew Rootes took to Twitter to pay tribute.

Resources for suicide prevention

Suicide prevention starts with recognizing the warning signs of suicide and taking them seriously. Talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a life.

If you or anyone you know is in need of help, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or 800-273-TALK (8255). You can also text the lifeline at 741741 or chat online here.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States.

You can also reach out to UT Physicians here.

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