On Wednesday, Ronnie Hillman – the esteemed Super Bowl-winning running back – sadly passed away after his courageous fight against liver cancer. He was 31 years old.

“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved son, brother & father, Ronnie K Hillman Jr, ” Hillman’s family wrote on Instagram. “Ronnie quietly and peacefully transitioned today in the company of his family and close friends.”

This week, Hillman began his hospice care journey after being diagnosed with renal medullary carcinoma, a “rare but highly aggressive neoplasm form of cancer that primarily affects young African Americans with sickle cell trait,” TMZ reported.

After graduating from San Diego State, Hillman was honored to be picked by the Broncos in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft. For four years he served Denver loyally and with distinction, accumulating 1,845 yards and 12 touchdowns in his run game during that time span.

During the 2016 season, his final year playing in the NFL, he featured in six games exhibiting all of his talents for both the Vikings and Chargers.

“We as the family, appreciate the prayers and kind words that have already been expressed,” Hillman’s family said. “We ask that you would give us time to process our feelings as we prepare to lay our precious RJ to rest.”

On Thursday morning, a wave of admiration swamped Hillman’s former teammates and celebrities on social media.

“Fly High my brother rest easy man going to miss you love you, my brother, we have amazing memories,” stated former Broncos teammate CJ Anderson.

“Man rip Ronnie,” said former Broncos star Chris Harris Jr.

“Fly high bro,” Former Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall wrote.

In the world of entertainment, Snoop Dogg gave Hillman’s character a tremendous compliment when he said “Heaven gained an angel today. Thank you for being an example to the youth in my league and around the world.”

Morgan Hardman, a beloved actress, posted an array of photos featuring her and Hillman accompanied by an endearing caption “Tonight, we gained an angel. Ronnie, I love you with everything in me. My life will never be the same without you. rest in heavenly peace Best Friend.”

The Hillman family has indicated that they will soon be providing further details.