Isiah Robertson played in an age when linebacker was football’s premier position. Especially on defense. And Roberson was one of the best to play that position. Tragically, Isiah Robertson was killed in a car accident in Texas at the age of 69.
The accident happened on December 6th, when the limo Robertson was driving skidded to a stop during heavy rain a few miles north of Mabank, Texas. The limo’s sudden stop caused a pickup truck to rear-end it, knocking the limo in the opposite lane, where it was struck by an oncoming car.
All other participants in the wreck were treated for minor injuries and discharged from the hospital. But Robertson was taken by ambulance to an Athens, Texas, hospital, where he later passed away.
The Los Angeles Rams, the team that drafted Robertson and who he spent his best NFL years with, released a statement following Robertson’s death:
We are deeply saddened by the passing of #LARams Legend Isiah Robertson. pic.twitter.com/77lU6wSgSX
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 7, 2018
In the 1971 NFL Draft, Isiah Robertson was taken with the 10th overall pick in the first round by the Rams. He spent eight seasons with the franchise, including six seasons in which he was named a Pro Bowler and two where he was selected to the All-Pro first team.
He finished his career playing four seasons with the Buffalo Bills.
Robertson’s impact on the football field is hard to contextualize in modern-NFL terms, aside from his individual honors, because stat-keeping then was nothing like what it is today. In Robertson’s day, tackles nor sacks were kept as an official stat, thus few numbers are associated with his play. But he did accumulate an impressive 25 interceptions (three of which were returned for touchdowns) and 15 fumble recoveries (one of which was converted into a touchdown).
Shortly before the accident that took his life, Robertson spoke at an athletic program banquet for Grand Prarie High School. The school posted a clip of the former NFL star’s closing remarks to its Facebook page. In it, Robertson states “If you have a setback, you don’t have to take a step back because God’s gonna come back … I want to tell you that God has a plan for every one of you.”