Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Former Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair has died.
McNair, 36, suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the head in downtown Nashville, police spokesperson Don Aaron said. A female victim was also found dead.
“I don’t have any answers for you now as to what’s happened, who’s responsible,” Aaron said.
Aaron said police have tentatively identified the woman but did not release her name.
“There are persons who were around the complex today, visitors, who have been taken to headquarters for questioning, just to see what they know, what they may have seen,” Aaron said. “No one is in custody right now.”
The condominium where the bodies were found is one that McNair was known to frequent, but police spokeswoman Kristin Mumford could not say whether he was the owner. The incident happened near 2nd South & Lea Ave in Nashville.
Detectives from the police department’s centralized homicide unit were on the scene.
Steve McNair: 1973-2009
The news of former NFL quarterback Steve McNair’s passing drew reaction from across the sports world. Reaction
McNair played 13 seasons in the NFL, 11 were with the Titans. He played his final two years with the Baltimore Ravens, retiring after the 2007 season.
“We don’t know the details, but it is a terrible tragedy and our hearts go out to the families involved,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.
“We are saddened and shocked to hear the news of Steve McNair’s passing today,” Titans owner K.S. “Bud” Adams Jr. said in a statement. “He was one of the finest players to play for our organization and one of the most beloved players by our fans. He played with unquestioned heart and leadership and led us to places that we had never reached, including our only Super Bowl. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family as they deal with his untimely passing.”
About 50 people crowded just beyond police tape outside the complex in the upscale Rutledge Hill neighborhood, some wearing Titans hats. The condominium is located within walking distance of an area filled with restaurants and nightspots, just a few blocks from the Cumberland River and within view of the Titans’ stadium.
McNair began his career in 1995 with the Houston Oilers, who eventually became the Titans, and finished with 31,304 yards passing and 174 touchdowns. McNair played with pain for several years, and the injuries ultimately forced him to retire.
The highlight of his playing time might have been a five-game stretch at the end of the 2002 season when he was so banged up he couldn’t practice. McNair started all five games and won them all, leading the Titans to an 11-5 finish and a berth in the AFC championship game for the second time in four seasons.
McNair played all 16 games in 2006, his first season in Baltimore, and guided the Ravens to a 13-3 record. But he injured his groin during the season opener last season and never regained the form that enabled him to earn a berth in four Pro Bowls.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of today’s tragic news regarding the death of Steve McNair. He was a player who I admired a great deal,” said New England Patriots senior football adviser Floyd Reese, who was GM of the Titans when McNair played there. “He was a tremendous leader and an absolute warrior. He felt like it was his responsibility to lead by working hard every day, no matter what.
“I don’t think there was a player who played with him or against him that didn’t look up to him and respect him,” Reese said. “My heartfelt condolences go out to his family, his friends and the many teammates who loved and admired him.”
Titans coach Jeff Fisher was out of the country, taking part in the first NFL-USO coaches tour to Iraq.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.