Titans fans mark 4 years since Steve McNair's murder
July 4, 2013 4:12 PM CDT
Reported By Joseph Pleasant, Reporter - bio | email
Steve McNair was killed on July 4, 2009.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
Thursday marks four years since legendary Titans quarterback Steve McNair was killed in a murder-suicide.
McNair was shot by his 20-year-old girlfriend Sahel Kazemi on July 4, 2009 before she turned the gun on herself.
He was laid to rest days later in his hometown of Mt. Olive, Mississippi. Nearly 5,000 friends and family members gathered to pay their respects.
The murder-suicide took place in McNair's downtown Nashville condo. The condo has since been renovated and is now leased to another tenant.
Thursday, one neighbor told Nashville's News 2 the Fourth of July is always a sad reminder of the events that unfolded four years ago.
McNair played 11 seasons with the Titans franchise, leading the team to the Super Bowl in 1999.
At Sam's All American Sports Grill in Hendersonville Thursday, McNair fans remembered him as an amazing athlete and member of the Middle Tennessee community.
"I thought he was a man of steel," Monty Parkey said. "He played through injuries because he was a tough guy and smart player."
Parkey saw McNair play several times at LP Field during McNair's career. The quarterback's murder still bothers him.
"Even though he was no longer playing here, he was one of Nashville's sons so to speak," Parkey said. "I think a lot of people were really saddened to hear the news."
Laura Vida met McNair during a fundraising event she organized for the Titans. The two took a picture together that she cherishes to this day.
"He was the heart of our town," she said. "I went to every opening game. I went to every single home game."
She continued, "He was just very well liked. He would go out to dinner and people would come up to get his autograph and he was always very generous with that."
At the Hot Chicken Festival in east Nashville, Terry Dickerson wore a Titans t-shirt with McNair's number, 9, to honor the former quarterback.
"Steve is truly missed because he was a mentor to a lot of people here in Nashville and lot of folks, especially with the Titans coming to Nashville for the first time," he said.
During a radio interview with 104.5 The Game six months before his death, an interviewer asked McNair what he wanted his legacy to be. At the time the question seemed premature.
McNair said, "I think my legacy is just going out and doing whatever it takes to win, it is not about numbers," he said, "mainly it's about if you put Steve McNair on the field he will give you 110%. He is going to do whatever it takes to win the ball game."
He continued, "He is going to give up his body, his mind and his soul to put his teammates in a position to win a ball game."
The Tennessee Titans are donating one of McNair's last Titans jerseys, a pair of his game shoes and a helmet to the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.
The selection committee for the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame is expected to vote on inducting McNair into the hall of fame this fall.
McNair opened a restaurant shortly before he died. The Gridiron 9 was located near the TSU campus off Jefferson Street.
The restaurant is now closed and Seafood Sensation occupies the space.
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