Watch: Larry Fitzgerald's touching tribute at John McCain's memorial

The Richfield native was close friends with the late senator.
Publish date:

Larry Fitzgerald paid a funny, touching tribute to his friend John McCain at the politician and war hero's memorial on Thursday.

Fitzgerald, a native of Richfield who is arguably the greatest NFL player to ever come out of Minnesota, struck up an unlikely friendship with the Arizona senator after meeting him as a rookie with the Arizona Cardinals.

His speech at the memorial had the audience laughing as Fitzgerald explained how the two came to be friends.

"Many people might wonder what a young African American kid from Minnesota and a highly decorated Vietnam war hero turned US senator might have in common, well I thought of a few."

"I'm black; he was white.

I'm young; he wasn't so young.

He lived with physical limitations brought on by war; I'm a professional athlete.

He ran for president; I run out bounds.

He was the epitome of toughness; and I do everything I can to avoid contact.

I have flowing locks; and well, he didn't.

How does this unlikely pair become friends?"

He then explained: "That's just who he is."

"He didn't judge people on the color of their skin, their gender, their backgrounds, their political affiliations, or their bank accounts, he evaluated them by the merits of their character and the content of their hearts," he continued.

"He cared about the substance of my heart more so than where I came from. While some may find our friendship out of the ordinary, it was a perfect example of what made him an iconic figure of American politics and service to fellow man.

Follow Bring Me The Sports on Facebook.

"Yes, ours was an unlikely friendship, but it's one that I will always cherish."

Senator McCain, a Republican who ran for president in 2008, died this past Saturday from a glioblastoma brain tumor.

"Senator McCain, it has been a true honor to call you friend," Fitzgerald said.

You can watch the full speech here, courtesy of CBS News.

Next Up

minnesota state fair

Planning for the 2021 Minnesota State Fair is underway

The fair suffered huge financial losses due to COVID-19, but organizers are moving forward with planning "different scenarios" for this summer.

Screen Shot 2021-01-15 at 2.16.44 PM

Heather Brown named as new WCCO 'This Morning' anchor

She will be joining Jason DeRusha on the CBS affiliate's Morning Show.

DPS John Harrington

DPS Commissioner: No credible threats to state Capitol, but ready if something arises

Local and state law enforcement officials have a plan in case a threat arises.

snow, slush (submitted photo, ok to use)

Here are snow totals from Thursday-Friday winter storm

It's a slushy mess in the metro, but snow did pile up in southern counties.

tim walz

Walz fury after report that government's COVID vaccine reserve is nonexistent

The Washington Post reported Friday that the Trump Administration has shipped out all the vaccines it has already, with none in reserve.

closed sign

What's open and closed in Minnesota on MLK Day 2021?

Local government offices will generally be closed on Monday.

BMTN 900x450 (8)

Company that falsely promised student loan forgiveness banned from MN

It's also been ordered to repay $11,499 in fees taken from Minnesotans.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID update for January 15

Hospitalizations are the lowest in Minnesota since October 25.


Osterholm: B117 COVID strain could become major issue in 6-8 weeks

The B117 variant is believed to be more easily transmitted.

General Mills

General Mills halts donations to Republicans who voted to block Biden win

Two Minnesota representatives voted against certification of results in Arizona and Pennsylvania.


John McCain dies of cancer at age of 81

The Arizona senator announced Friday he would discontinue his treatment.

Former Rep. Jason Lewis blames John McCain for GOP losing the House

Lewis was defeated in Minnesota's 2nd District last week.

Larry Fitzgerald Jr.

Larry Fitzgerald Jr.: 'As a nation, we are not OK'

The Minneapolis native gave his thoughts on the George Floyd riots in Sunday's New York Times.

Larry Fitzgerald won't make a hasty decision about future in NFL

At age 33 and still at the top of his game, Larry Fitzgerald will take some time before deciding his future in the NFL.

Larry Fitzgerald won't make a hasty decision about future in NFL

At age 33 and still at the top of his game, Larry Fitzgerald will take some time before deciding his future in the NFL.