Roger Goodell, Ravens pay respect to Maryland congressman Elijah Cummings

Roger Goodell and Elijah Cummings listen to Troy Vincent speak to students about the dangers of steroid use. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the Baltimore Ravens paid tribute to Maryland congressman Elijah Cummings on Thursday. Cummings, a long-time representative in Maryland, died Thursday morning. He was 68.

While a number of politicians and lawmakers have sent their condolences to Cummings, the congressman also had a profound impact on the sports world. In a statement, Goodell praised Cummings for “partnering with the Baltimore Ravens to advance social justice,” among other things.

Goodell’s full statement read:

"I was deeply saddened to learn this morning of the passing of Congressman Elijah Cummings. Congressman Cummings was a favorite son of Baltimore and his beloved district was always close to his heart, whether partnering with the Baltimore Ravens to advance social justice or inviting the NFL to speak to hundreds of high school students about the importance of fair competition and staying away from performance-enhancing drugs. As an attorney, state delegate, and Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, he dedicated his remarkable life to serving others with character, integrity, and compassion. The NFL joins the Baltimore Ravens in extending our sincere condolences to the Congressman's family, constituents, and friends throughout the country"

The Ravens had similar words for Cummings, calling him “an agent for change, a titan of civil rights and a fighter for Baltimore.”

Cummings’ connection with sports extends beyond football. He sat on the committee that oversaw Major League Baseball’s steroid hearings in 2005. Cummings was strongly opposed to performance-enhancing drugs, suggesting baseball needed a policy of “zero tolerance” when it came to steroid use.

Cummings served as a congressman in the 7th district of Baltimore since 1996. While his cause of death has not been released, Cummings office said he died due to “complications concerning longstanding health challenges.”

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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