BET Awards includes the very much alive former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown in memorial

The show probably meant to pay respects to the late NFL great "Old Man" Willie Brown.
Willie Brown
Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Chase Center in San Francisco on Sept. 3.Eric Risberg / AP

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By David K. Li

The BET Awards paid tribute to Willie Brown, the very much alive former mayor of San Francisco, during the show's tribute Sunday night to notable African Americans who have died in the past year.

Sandwiched between pioneering actress Diahann Carroll and soul singer Bill Withers, a picture of "Willie Lewis Brown Jr.: Politician" appeared during the show's in memoriam segment.

Show producers had wanted to honor "Old Man Willie" Brown, who died in October at 78. The Hall of Fame cornerback played 16 seasons in the NFL, 12 of them for the Raiders in Oakland and Los Angeles.

The error was corrected for the replay immediately following the broadcast.

Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Brown in 2017. Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

The former mayor and California Assembly speaker is 86 and writes a weekly column for the San Francisco Chronicle. He wrote Saturday that President Donald Trump's spiraling political fortunes are no one's fault but his.

“I couldn’t figure out why the phone was all lit up,” an alive and bemused Brown told the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday night.

“Finally, my niece called and she was pissed off — she said, ‘If you’re going to die, you’re supposed to tell me.’ ”

Brown joked about the motives of friends who called him.

"That doesn’t mean I’m cared for," Brown quipped. “Those are people that owed me money."

Sarah Kaufman contributed.