Arizona Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald gives a heartfelt speech at Senator John McCain’s memorial service in Phoenix.

Arizona Cardinals’ wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald honored John McCain at his memorial service in Phoenix Thursday, saying some may wonder how they became friends, given their differences. 

His tribute honored McCain’s service in the Navy, the sacrifices he made as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam and his work as a six-term senator. 

“I’m black, he was white,” Fitzgerald told mourners at North Phoenix Baptist Church. “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 of bounds.

MORE: Thousands gather for McCain’s memorial service at Phoenix church

“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? I’ve asked myself the same question. You know what he answer is? That’s just who he is.”


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While they were from different worlds, Fitzgerald said they developed a meaningful friendship because McCain looked beyond physical attributes, political affiliations and bank accounts. 

He valued people based on what was in their hearts. 

RELATED: How John McCain and Larry Fitzgerald became fast friends

“What made Sen. McCain so special was that he cared about the substance of my heart” more than where he came from. 

He added, “Ours was an unlikely friendship, but it’s one that I will always cherish.”


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