Along with being a longtime U.S. Senator and American war hero, John McCain was known as being one of the biggest sports fans in the Grand Canyon State.
McCain, who passed away Saturday at age 81, was often seen attending professional and collegiate sporting events in the state, including during the Arizona Diamondbacks' 2001 World Series run.
Among others, Arizona Cardinals star receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Diamondbacks World Series hero Luis Gonzalez and former Arizona Coyotes captain were longtime friends of McCain. Gonzalez shot a TV ad supporting McCain's reelection bid for the U.S. Senate in 2016.
"Rest in peace to an American hero, statesman, servant of the people, and dear friend. Godspeed Senator McCain. My prayers for Cindy and the beautiful McCain family," Fitzgerald tweeted Saturday night.
"Senator McCain was not only a great man and patriot but also a loyal D-backs fan. I’m proud to have called him a dear friend. On behalf of my entire family, our thoughts and prayers are with Cindy and the McCain family," Gonzalez tweeted.
"Senator McCain was a shining example of what a modern leader should be. He represented Arizona and the United States with class and dignity, and the courage and incredible strength that he demonstrated, in every test a man could face, impacted everyone who simply heard his story. His love for life was contagious and his passion for his family, state, country and Arizona sports teams left you optimistic and energized. I am so honored to have been able to call Senator McCain my friend, and am grateful to his family for allowing my family to be a part of their lives. Our hearts go out to Cindy and all the family during this difficult time," Doan said in a statement.
Rest in peace to an American hero, statesman, servant of the people, and dear friend. Godspeed Senator McCain. My prayers for Cindy and the beautiful McCain family. pic.twitter.com/Tj87Hb8MtY
— Larry Fitzgerald (@LarryFitzgerald) August 26, 2018
Senator McCain was not only a great man and patriot but also a loyal D-backs fan. I’m proud to have called him a dear friend. On behalf of my entire family, our thoughts and prayers are with Cindy and the McCain family. pic.twitter.com/noSItd72o8
— Luis Gonzalez (@Luisgonzo20) August 26, 2018
“John McCain has always been a member of the D-backs’ family and was one of this team’s biggest fans since day one,” D-backs President and CEO Derrick Hall said in a statement. “He was in attendance at the expansion draft, the World Series and countless other games, remaining a fan through thick and thin. I am honored to consider him a friend and we will miss seeing his smiling face in the stands and our heartfelt thoughts go out to his entire family.”
Along with the D-backs, the Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Arizona Coyotes and Phoenix Rising FC, along with ASU, UA and GCU, paid tribute to McCain via social media. The D-backs announced McCain will be honored before Sunday's game vs. the Mariners at Chase Field. ASU's volleyball team held a moment of silence for McCain before its match Saturday night.
Goodbye to an American hero, one we were lucky enough to call a loyal fan.
Rest in peace, Senator John McCain. Our thoughts are with your family and loved ones. pic.twitter.com/KIMZS1w7Pq
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) August 26, 2018
Statement from team president Michael Bidwill on the passing of Senator John McCain. pic.twitter.com/Zh72H58fNw
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) August 26, 2018
— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) August 26, 2018
You’ll be missed, Senator McCain. pic.twitter.com/2qMYmFciJm
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) August 26, 2018
Today we lost an American hero and a legend here in Arizona. Thank you for everything and Rest In Peace, John McCain 🇺🇸
— Devin Booker (@DevinBook) August 26, 2018
We’ll never forget your loyalty to our team, our state, and our country. Thank you, Senator. 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/MOXrDMjNYQ
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) August 26, 2018
As we prepare for tonight’s match, we are saddened by the news of the passing of @SenJohnMcCain . Our thoughts are with his family. We will hold a moment of silence for the senator prior to kickoff. pic.twitter.com/7zLgtPQT6r
— Phoenix Rising FC (@PHXRisingFC) August 26, 2018
Rest in peace, Senator McCain. pic.twitter.com/VocsgjrlBo
— Arizona State Sun Devils (@TheSunDevils) August 26, 2018
Prior to the start of tonight's match, we honored Senator McCain with a moment of silence. pic.twitter.com/BM2ozpTeBs
— Sun Devil Volleyball (@SunDevilVB) August 26, 2018
Farewell to an American hero.
Our condolences to the family and loved ones of Senator John McCain. pic.twitter.com/mkYuxCMiav
— Arizona Athletics (@AZATHLETICS) August 26, 2018
We are forever grateful for Senator McCain’s service and leadership. pic.twitter.com/jc9jipwyua
— GCU Lopes (@GCU_Lopes) August 26, 2018