Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti wants to make sure members of his organization have an opportunity to attend the funeral of former Ravens cornerback Tray Walker, who passed away Friday following a motorcycle accident in Miami, Fla.
"I think Steve will make it possible for everybody that's in Baltimore or wants to get to Baltimore to fly down together and Steve will pay for that," Head Coach John Harbaugh told media Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings. "That's just how he does it."
"That's the least we can do," Bisciotti said about chartering the flight. "The fact that they all want to be there obviously is the right reaction. I'm happy they are going to be there representing us, showing the family how much he meant to us. That's really what you want to express."
Walker's funeral is scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m. in Miami, and his viewing is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Friday.
Harbaugh plans on attending the funeral and other Ravens officials have been in Miami since the accident happened to offer support to Walker's family. Senior Director of Security Darren Sanders, Director of Player Engagement Harry Swayne and Team Chaplain Johnny Shelton have been in constant communication with Walker's mother.
"We have two sons not too much older than Tray, and we can't imagine how much his family is suffering," Bisciotti said in a written statement Friday. "This is so sad. The right words are hard to find at a time like this. As much as we can comfort Tray's mom and the rest of his family, we will."
Neither Bisciotti nor Harbaugh have been in a situation like this previously, saying it was "new territory" for them and the organization. Both welcomed advice and phone calls from those who have been through similar situations.
Harbaugh was appreciative of a call he received from Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher, who coaches wide receiver Stedman Bailey. Bailey recently survived two gunshot wounds to the head. Harbaugh was also grateful for his daily Bible study, which led him to a verse (Isaiah 25:8) that boosted his spirits.
"This is just so new to us that it really is hard to process," Bisciotti said. "Just talking about football seems a little* *hollow, a little disrespectful maybe. The players and the camaraderie that they build with each other, the closeness that they build, this is just sad for them."
Ravens leaders hope their players use this tragic event an opportunity to reassess their own decision-making. Harbaugh encouraged his players in an open letter to the team to think about the fragility of life.
Pondering what Walker's mother might be feeling was part of Harbaugh's motivation behind writing that letter.
"[I] was just thinking about Tray's mom," Harbaugh said. "It's one of those feelings that nobody ever wants to have, it's not a call that you ever want to get. It's not a situation that you ever want to imagine yourself in. I'm sure we all feel that way with our kids. You don't even want to think about what that would be like, yet, here she is and she has to live that reality."