In a statement shared on Twitter, Reed said, “While we are shocked and saddened by Terez Paylor’s sudden passing, we also celebrate his extraordinary life that touched so many. Terez was an exceptional journalist whose passion for football made him a respected voice.”
“His legacy will leave an enduring impact on sports journalists, the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs, and their fans. More important, Terez was a devoted son, grandson, brother, and an adoring fiancé, and a wonderful friend to so many. To know him was to love him. He will be dearly missed.”
While a cause of death was not immediately revealed, Yahoo Sports Editor-in-Chief Johnn Ludden also released an official statement following Paylor’s sudden death. Ludden said, “We are heartbroken to learn that our friend and teammate Terez Paylor has passed away. Terez was a dogged, thoughtful report to many who knew him in the NFL. To us, he was a friend who always had a warm smile and a kind word.”
“He cared deeply about his family, was passionate about his work and remained intensely proud of his Detroit and Kansas City roots,” Ludden continued. “Our sympathy is with Terez’s family and everyone who knew and cared about him.”
Paylor, originally from Kansas City, Missouri, was the host of “The Terez Paylor Show” on 610KSportsKC Radio and a Pro Football Hall of Fame Voter.
Here’s what you need to know about Terez Paylor:
Paylor Graduated from Howard University & Spent Nearly 5 Years Working at The Kansas City Star
Paylor earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Howard University, according to his Linkedin profile. After graduating in 2006, he worked his way up the ranks at the Kansas City Star. His first beat as a reporter was writing about high school sports and after covering the University of Missouris as a beat writer, started to cover the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013.
Paylor spent nearly five years as the Chiefs beat writer before becoming a senior NFL writer for Yahoo Sports. Following the news of his death, the Kansas City Star published a moving tribute article written by Paylor’s former co-worker, Sam Mellinger. He wrote:
Terez was so damn smart, both intellectually and with people. He knew his writing was raw when he started here. We talked about that. He asked a million questions to a hundred writers. He studied. He worked. Before you knew it, he was excellent, pridefully planning and producing long features. He did that, with sweat.
Terez’s genius had nothing to do with turning a phrase, though. He knew football and the people who loved it. He built and executed a plan that quickly made him one of America’s best football beat writers — an enormously competitive field.
Paylor is the 3rd NFL Reporter to Die this Past Week
It’s been a devastating week in the world of sportswriters this week. On February 5, NFL.com reporter and Around the NFL podcast host Chris Wesseling died at age 46 following a battle with cancer.
— Pedro Gomez (@pedrogomezESPN) December 13, 2020
On February 7, ESPN’s SportsCenter reporter Pedro Gomez unexpectedly died at the age of 58.
ESPN writer Jeff Passan tweeted on Tuesday, “Another terrible, unspeakable loss. Terez was so talented, and all of us who knew him were so proud to see him grow at Yahoo into one of the best football writers, reporters and podcasters around. He was a great, kind person. God, he had the best laugh. We’ll all miss him.”
Terez Paylor is another crushing loss.
I was so impressed a few years ago with how he did his job on the @Chiefs beat, I called to express my admiration and how he made us proud.
People my age, we know time here is finite.
Terez was 37.
What a loss. 🙏🏻 #RIPTerezPaylor
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) February 9, 2021
Jemele Hill also commented on the tragic amount of deaths in the sports journalism world this past week. She tweeted, “I didn’t know Terez but several of my friends work at Yahoo and my heart goes out to them as well as Terez’s family. I don’t know … just seems like we’re losing a lot of good folks lately.”
Tribute Filled Social Media Following the News of Paylor’s Death
Terez Paylor, who covered the NFL for Yahoo Sports, died today. He was 37 years old. Paylor, who was a Pro Football Hall of Fame voter, joined Yahoo Sports in 2018 after five years as The Kansas City Star's Chiefs beat writer. A devastating loss of another person gone too soon. pic.twitter.com/wPhVOPVugl
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 9, 2021
Paylor’s final article, which discussed the intricacies of the Chiefs’ loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during Super Bowl LV, was published on February 8.
All year long, the Chiefs have zoomed by teams with speed in space.
So when facing a stout Bucs front with a suddenly-depleted OL, they stuck with it.
— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) February 9, 2021
On February 9, instead of Twitter being filled with clips from his show or shared posts of his most recent articles, the social media site filled with heartfelt tributes from his friends, fans, fellow sportswriters, and NFL teams.
ESPN’s Monday Night Football host Louis Riddick tweeted, “Wait a minute…this is just not f’ing right. What’s going on!!! Listen. Terez Paylor was my guy. Respected him to the fullest. 100%. He was real, talented, intelligent, genuine…I loved talking ball with the man. This is just devastating in every way. My condolences. I’m numb.”
Terez Paylor — beloved by so many in our biz. Chiefs fans knew his stuff was beyond legit and so did everyone in that org. The guys and gals in that building who he covered on a daily basis are really hurting right now after this news. Gosh. Condolences to his fiance and family.
— Peter Schrager (@PSchrags) February 9, 2021
I am heartbroken over Terez Paylor’s death. His passing is journalism’s loss, but a greater loss to the world. Terez was everything that is right in mankind. He was one of my closest friends and little brother I wish I always had.
Rest easy, Terez. You were loved by many. pic.twitter.com/rKoEjHwaVZ
— Herbie Teope (@HerbieTeope) February 9, 2021
Heartbreaking news to hear of the passing of Terez Paylor. From our entire Bills family, we want to pass along condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. Terez was a pleasure to work with and we will miss him.
— Buffalo Bills PR (@BuffaloBillsPR) February 9, 2021
This is a devastating day for the NFL, sports media, Kansas City, anyone who has read/listened to, or was lucky enough to know Terez Paylor.
Nobody was better, no one was more kind.
He was the standard. This hurts terribly. Praying for comfort for his family.
— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) February 9, 2021