Bills, Ole Miss lineman “Gentle Ben” Williams, 65, dies

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OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - Robert Jerry “Ben” Williams Jr., former Buffalo Bills defensive end and the first African American player to appear in a game at Mississippi, has died. He was 65. Ole Miss announced in a release that Williams died Monday from natural causes at a Jackson, Mississippi, hospital. Affectionately known as “Gentle Ben,” he was the Rebels’ first black player to earn All-America honors as a first-team selection in 1975 and was a three-time first team All-Southeastern Conference selection. Williams was drafted by Buffalo in the third round in 1976 and spent his entire 10-year career with the Bills during which he had 140 starts in 147 games.