Chadwick Boseman passed away Friday night after four years of facing colon cancer. He was 43 years old. This news stunned people around the world and prompted tributes from those who had worked with him in the past, including Draft Day co-star Kevin Costner. The longtime actor posted a message on Instagram and reflected upon Boseman's legacy.
"Heartbroken to hear of [Chadwick Boseman]'s passing. He was such a light to everyone around him and to the world. He leaves an incredible legacy," Costner wrote. He joined the millions mourning Boseman following his surprising death on Friday night. This included former members of the Cleveland Browns, NASCAR drivers and other actors that spent considerable time with Boseman.
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Released in 2014, Draft Day starred Costner as the fictional general manager of the Cleveland Browns. The story follows him as he tries to decide which player to select in the upcoming draft. Boseman played Ohio State linebacker Vontae Mack, a top prospect. Analysts don't view him as the best option for the Browns, but Costner's character Sonny Weaver Jr. shocks the league by selecting Mack No. 1 overall.
Boseman didn't play for the Cleveland Browns, but he did suit up with the team. Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden, a former member of the team, proved this with a photo posted on Twitter. The image showed Boseman wearing a No. 51 jersey and standing next to Haden, safety TJ Ward and center Alex Mack among other players.
W. Earl Brown, who also starred in the film, took to Twitter following the news of Boseman's death and shared a story about attending a baseball game with his fellow actor. He said that he "scored" tickets to a game between the Detroit Tiger and Cleveland Indians. However, Boseman was late to arrive at the game.
"He showed up with his cap pulled low and dark glasses. He was very apologetic for his tardiness. At first, I thought the Incognito act and lateness might've been some Star Trip. It was anything but," Brown tweeted in a long thread. "It was a year or so removed from Chad’s breakthrough role as Jackie Robinson in 42. He explained what had happened, 'there was a group of people outside my hotel. They had Jackie jersey, bats, all kinds of 42 stuff for me to sign had to slip out through the rear,' he got a bit choked up, '...look, I KNOW what Jackie means to people. I completely understand what he symbolizes and what he fought against. But I am NOT Jackie. I’m just an actor. I am not him.'"
Brown continued and explained that he was "floored" by the humility of Boseman. He said that he would have been "puffed-up" by this type of situation, but the Draft Day star was not. Brown said that Boseman's soul would never let his ego win the battle.