Baltimore Ravens Pay Tribute to Michael K. Williams, Play Omar's Whistle from The Wire

The Ravens kicked off Sunday's game by playing Omar's whistle from The Wire to honor late actor Michael K. Williams, who died Sept. 6

Michael K. Williams
Michael K. Williams. Photo: Amy Sussman/FilmMagic

The Baltimore Ravens game on Sunday began with a tribute to the late star of The Wire, Michael K. Williams.

The actor, who died Sept. 6 at age 54, was known for playing Omar Little on the hit HBO series, which was set in Baltimore, Maryland.

As the Ravens prepared to take on the Kansas City Chiefs, Omar whistling "The Farmer in the Dell" from the series began to play to massive cheers in the stadium, per The Hollywood Reporter. Williams' The Wire character robbed drug dealers for a living and would whistle before closing in on his victims, per ESPN.

The Ravens Twitter account shared a video of the touching moment Sunday night, writing in the caption, "For Omar."

David Simon, who created The Wire, wrote on Twitter that he could hear the whistle playing from outside M&T Bank Stadium Sunday.

"Heard the sound of Omar whistling 'Farmer In The Dell' from the stadium while walking across the Ostend Street bridge to the Ravens opener and thought I'd lost my shit," he wrote. "It's the little things that are gonna get me, I guess. But Michael gonna last."

Simon added, "To be clear, I'm not crazy, The Ravens did that."

Michael k williams
Rodrigo Varela/Getty

The Ravens' tribute to Williams came the same night of the 2021 Emmy Awards, where the late actor was nominated for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series for his role as Montrose Freeman in Lovecraft Country.

Williams previously told PEOPLE he channeled his own "trauma" to play Montrose. Comparing his Lovecraft Country character to his The Wire character, Williams said, "Montrose was different. He didn't have the freedom Omar had or the confidence."

He continued, "He comes from such a broken place. I just had to find my own pain and my own trauma, which was a very painful experience for me. All the generational pain that had been passed down through my own personal experiences, I had to dig deep down in that for Montrose."

While he did not win his posthumous award, Williams was honored during the Emmys' In Memoriam segment, during which Kerry Washington praised him as a "brilliantly talented actor and a generous human being who has left us far too soon."

Washington added, "I know you're here because you wouldn't miss this. Your excellence, your artistry will endure. We love you."

Williams was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment earlier this month. At the time, a rep for the actor confirmed his death to PEOPLE, saying, "It is with deep sorrow that the family announces the passing of Emmy nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams. They ask for your privacy while grieving this unsurmountable loss."

While he was widely recognized for his iconic role on The Wire, Williams appeared in multiple other series and films over the years. He starred in shows like Law & Order, The Sopranos, Alias, Boardwalk Empire, Community and When They See Us, and in films including Gone Baby Gone, The Incredible Hulk, 12 Years a Slave, Inherent Vice and Ghostbusters (2016).

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