Longtime NFL writer Don Banks dies Sunday at 56

Ben Weinrib
Yahoo Sports Contributor
Longtime journalist Don Banks (right) died Sunday morning the day after covering the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony. (Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Images for NFL)

Veteran NFL writer Don Banks died in his sleep on Sunday morning the day after covering the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony.

Banks, 56, was in Canton, Ohio, and is survived by his wife, Alissa, and his two sons, Matt and Micah.

Banks was best known for his 17 years with Sports Illustrated and recently joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal to cover the NFL. His first column for the paper — on how appearing on “Hard Knocks” affected the 2018 Cleveland Browns — ran online Saturday and in Sunday’s print edition.

“Words can’t express the depth of sadness the Review-Journal staff feels for Don’s family and friends,” Review-Journal Executive Editor Glenn Cook said. “Beyond a sportswriting institution, Don was a dedicated husband and father and a class act. No NFL journalist commanded more respect. The sport has lost one of its finest storytellers.”

By all reports, Banks was excited about his new job and in good health. Paramedics found Banks unresponsive in his hotel room and pronounced him dead.

Banks spent time covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots along with the league as a whole, and was well-regarded among his colleagues. He also wrote for The Athletic, NFL.com and Minneapolis Star Tribune, among other outlets.

Colleagues and teams reach out in support

After touching the lives of so many fellow reporters and teams, there was an outpouring of emotions and thoughts regarding Banks. Here is a quick snapshot of the stories people shared.

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