Terez Paylor, Yahoo Sports NFL Reporter, Dies at 37

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2021

Footballs are seen on the field before an NFL wild-card playoff football game between the New Orleans Saints and the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in New Orleans. The Saints defeated the Bears 21-9. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)
Tyler Kaufman/Associated Press

NFL reporter Terez Paylor died Tuesday at the age of 37. 

Yahoo Sports announced the news and shared a statement from his fiancee, Ebony Reed:

"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 journalism, the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs, and their fans. More important, Terez was a devoted son, grandson, brother, an adoring fiance, and a wonderful friend to so many. To know him was to love him. He will be dearly missed."

Paylor's death sparked plenty of reaction from the sports journalism world, underscoring the impact he had on so many people in the industry beyond just his writing ability:

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

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. https://t.co/80mUReOvTD

Louis Riddick @LRiddickESPN

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. https://t.co/91SisU0NuF

Dan Wetzel @DanWetzel

Can’t express how sad today has been at Yahoo Sports. Terez was incredible - talented, driven, dedicated. Serious. Soulful. Grateful. So much respect for him and his journey. Just 37, about to be engaged, world in front of him. Lucky to call him a friend. Thinking of his family. https://t.co/VQFEzeBfpo

Steve Wyche @wyche89

This is crushing news. This wave of loss to our friends and people in our industry has come with a fury and we are heartbroken. The solace I selfishly take in moments like these is knowing how sweet and wonderful Terez was and how I am better for knowing him, my @HowardU brother. https://t.co/g9jubwkhNQ

Tyler R. Tynes @TylerRickyTynes

Terez was a mentor to almost every young Black person writing about football I know. He was always around & always listening to what our generation produced. I talked to him before the season and he said he “couldn’t be happier.” Hug ya folks & tell them you love them. RIP unc 🖤 https://t.co/iuisiAGM9k

Harry Lyles Jr. @harrylylesjr

i’ve been sitting here trying to find the words and i just can’t. this is heartbreaking. terez was a great guy and incredibly helpful to younger guys trying to make something of themselves https://t.co/6rc2ogAE9p

Kevin Clark @bykevinclark

Terez was an amazing friend, storyteller, reporter and human. I am just devastated. I absolutely adored seeing him at games, doing podcasts with him and just talking football.

Michael Lee @MrMichaelLee

The only real conversation I had with Terez Paylor was when he called to discuss leaving the KC Star for Yahoo! I had long admired his tenacity & reporting chops. I told him he was ready to do whatever he wanted. He made the move & kicked butt. Had so much more to accomplish. RIP

Clarence Hill Jr @clarencehilljr

Terez was such a good dude. And he was just hitting his sweet spot professionally and personally. 37 years old. Too young to be gone. Gutted by this https://t.co/iIoCH1b8GY

Robert Mays @robertmays

When I heard the news today, I just broke down. Terez was such a wonderful guy. We always appreciated the passion each other had about football and our places in it. Every time I saw him and we got to chat, my day was brighter. He's going to be so missed. https://t.co/8cZc95rIms

Jefe @JeffAllen71

Terez was one of the most genuine people that I’ve ever met. We had plenty of conversations in the locker room that had nothing to do with football. He legit cared about how I was doing as a human being. You’ll be missed my friend R.I.P https://t.co/nr8obaT05X

Kimberley A. Martin @ByKimberleyA

Everyone who knew Terez, loved him and respected his work and enthusiasm for life and covering football. Just gutted. Ebony, Terez’s family, and the entire Yahoo crew have my deepest condolences and are in my prayers 💔 #NABJLove https://t.co/kPMwMjy6uZ

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

Terez was one of my favorite people in the business. He worked incredibly hard to find and tell great stories, but mostly he was an awesome guy. This sucks. https://t.co/OdaJsirWHT

Matt Harmon @MattHarmon_BYB

Terez Paylor was *the* man. Most importantly a good and kind human, but also a truly phenomenal NFL writer and reporter. He was one of a kind and saying he’ll be missed doesn’t feel close to enough. We’ve been heartbroken all day. All our love to Ebony and his family. https://t.co/w0MKDBSS1p

Peter King @peter_king

Crushing. Such a pro, so conscientious. To be great at anything, you’ve got to have a passion for it. Terez’s passion for the game and for his writing showed daily. So sad for his fiancé. Sad as well for a generation of readers who won’t see 25 years of Terez’s great work. RIP. https://t.co/rhoLdb67iu

Dianna Russini @diannaESPN

this is absolutely heartbreaking. Terez was THE guy covering the Chiefs. Even listening to him on zooms the other day with Kansas City you can hear how much those players liked him. I’m in shock. https://t.co/MQWJOFvvdn

Paylor covered the Kansas City Chiefs as the beat writer for the Kansas City Star for five years before he joined Yahoo Sports in 2018. He was also a Pro Football Hall of Fame voter and member of the Pro Football Writers of America.

The Howard University graduate joined the Star in 2006 and covered a variety of sports prior to becoming the beat writer for the Chiefs, including high schools, the Kansas City Brigade of the Arena Football League, Sporting KC of the MLS and the University of Missouri.