Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald to speak at Phoenix tribute of John McCain

Aug 27, 2018, 11:32 AM | Updated: 10:18 pm

Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald will join other dignitaries to speak at late Arizona Senator John McCain’s Phoenix service on Thursday, McCain’s former campaign manager Rick Davis said Monday.

In his nearly decade-and-a-half of playing pro football in Arizona, Fitzgerald built a deep relationship with McCain, the long-time politician and Vietnam-era war icon who died at the age of 81 years old Saturday.

Just before Christmas of 2017, after McCain’s cancer diagnosis, Fitzgerald penned a letter about his admiration of the senator in Sports Illustrated. In it, he spoke of McCain’s heroism and how much it influenced his own travels and pursuit of learning history.

We should be a nation of fairness and equality. We should be a country with justice for all. One of the reasons I admire Senator McCain is that he doesn’t always just vote his party. He votes his conscience, and that can seem like a rare quality these days.

The Cardinals receiver wrote of visiting the lake where McCain, a Vietnam War pilot, was shot down. He said he thought of McCain’s years as a prisoner of war when he visited Vietnam, or World War II camps Dachau or Auschwitz.

I saw the very jail cell where he was held as a POW and I tried to imagine what it must have been like to be him. I took a photo of myself next to his flight suit, the suit he was wearing when he got shot down. So powerful. So meaningful. Those images will never leave my mind.

In recent years, McCain invited Fitzgerald to serve as a guest panelist at his global summit in Sedona, Ariz., near the senator’s home. Now, the receiver will again brush shoulders with respected acquaintances of McCain before Fitzgerald joins the Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium for his team’s preseason finale on Thursday against the Denver Broncos.

Former United States Vice President Joe Biden is also among those expected to honor McCain at North Phoenix Baptist Church at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Former Coyotes captain Shane Doan and former Diamondbacks outfielder Luis Gonzalez will be pallbearers at the service as well.

Presented By
Western Governors University

Arizona Cardinals

Josh Woods practices...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals’ Josh Woods ‘trending the right way,’ but ruled out vs. Cowboys

The Arizona Cardinals will be without starting inside linebacker Josh Woods when the team takes on the Dallas Cowboys in Week 3.

29 minutes ago

Micah Parsons sacks Daniel Jones...

Tyler Drake

Electric Cowboys defense presents toughest out yet for 2023 Cardinals

You don't have to look far to get an idea of just how dominant the Dallas Cowboys defense has been two games into the regular season.

18 hours ago

Leki Fotu (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)...

Arizona Sports

Injury report: Cardinals’ Leki Fotu back at practice after missing Week 2

The banged up Arizona Cardinals are searching for their first win of the year when they host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

21 hours ago

Trevon Diggs #7 of the Dallas Cowboys warms up prior to a game against the New York Giants at MetLi...

Stephen Gugliociello

Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs suffered torn ACL ahead of Cardinals game

Reports coming out of Cowboys camp Thursday, standout cornerback Trevon Diggs suffered a torn ACL during practice on Thursday.

21 hours ago

Joshua Dobbs in Week 2...

Tyler Drake

New era notes: It’s all about trusting the process for Cardinals QB Joshua Dobbs

Arizona Cardinals starting quarterback Joshua Dobbs has had quite the NFL road to get to where he is today.

2 days ago

Jeff Smith #16 of the New York Jets caries the ball during the first quarter of a preseason game ag...

Kellan Olson

Arizona Cardinals sign WR Jeff Smith to practice squad

The Arizona Cardinals made an addition to the practice squad on Wednesday, signing wide receiver Jeff Smith.

2 days ago

Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald to speak at Phoenix tribute of John McCain