NFL greats cheer as Trump pardons former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr.

The White House announced Tuesday that President Trump is granting a full pardon to former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., who was convicted of failing to report a bribe to the former governor of Louisiana when he pleaded guilty in 1998.

NFL greats including Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, Charles Haley, and Jim Brown were on hand at the White House, expressing their support for DeBartolo, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.

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"I take my hat off to Donald Trump for what he did," Rice said, crediting DeBartolo for his former team's success in the 1980s and 90s.

“He wanted us to win and I think he’s the main reason why we won so many Super Bowls," said Rice, who played on three of DeBartolo's Super Bowl-winning teams.

“I’m going to make it real simple," Brown said. "Ed DeBartolo is a great man.”

Brown spoke of his personal relationship with DeBartolo, calling him "a great, great friend of mine and to the league."

Edward DeBartolo, Jr., former San Francisco 49ers Owner, speaks during his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech during the NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on Aug. 6, 2016 in Canton, Ohio. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Edward DeBartolo, Jr., former San Francisco 49ers Owner, speaks during his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech during the NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on Aug. 6, 2016 in Canton, Ohio. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The 49ers won five championships under DeBartolo's ownership. He stepped down as owner in 1997 after two Louisiana newspapers reported he would be indicted for gambling fraud.

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DeBartolo's guilty plea was in connection to his payment of $400,000 to former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards in exchange for a riverboat gambling license. He avoided prison, was fined $1 million and was suspended for a year by the NFL. But the episode effectively ended his NFL career.

He was previously denied pardons from Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.