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Sport world pays tribute to late McCain

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VETERAN war hero, and American politician and senator, late senator john, McCain died aged 81 on Saturday after a one year battle with brain cancer.The war hero with an ability to communicate and compromise with both parties during his three decades in Congress was also known for his affinity for sports.

An undersized Naval Academy boxer in the 1950s, In the 1990s, he helped create and push the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, which sought more financial and medical protection for professional boxers. The law was introduced in 1999 and enacted in 2000.

Having moved to Arizona in 1981, McCain saw The Grand Canyon State welcome three major sports franchises. It didn’t take long for him to declare his professional sports allegiances. Arizona imported two franchises when the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals became the Phoenix Cardinals in 1988 and the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets became the Phoenix Coyotes in 1996. The Arizona Diamondbacks were one of MLB’s two expansion teams in 1998.

All professional Arizona teams, along with the University of Arizona and Arizona State University, paid their respects to the late senator Saturday night.

The Diamondbacks played a video tribute to McCain, eliciting a standing ovation from the Chase Field crowd.
McCain threw out the first pitch for the Diamondbacks as they hosted the New York Yankees for Game 7 of the 2001 World Series. Later that night, Luis Gonzalez’s walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth inning won the World Series for the Diamondbacks in a moment that McCain said was his greatest as a fan of Arizona sports.

Gonzalez took to social media to honor McCain, saying: “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.”

“Maybe going forward I shouldn’t stay up late watching the Diamondbacks night games,” he wrote in a statement.
“Arizona, the United States and the world will never be the same without the voice of Senator John McCain,” Cardinals owner Michael Bidwell said in a statement Saturday night.

“We are heart-broken by his passing but know that the character, courage and conviction that he demonstrated throughout his life will endure forever. All of us at the Arizona Cardinals extend our deepest condolences to his wife Cindy and their entire family. The world was a better place with Senator John McCain in it and we all mourn his loss tonight.”

Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald issued his own remembrance of McCain on social media: “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.”
The Chicago Cubs also paid tribute to the late senator before Sunday’s matchup against the Cincinnati Reds.

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