Police have officially ruled Steve McNair’s death as a homicide. They have also publicly identified the other deceased at the crime scene as Saleh Kazemi, a woman whom McNair had apparently been dating for several months. The police have yet to rule the cause of death for the second victim. They have not yet however ruled out the possibility of a murder-suicide.
It is becoming apparent that McNair was in a romantic relationship with this woman and that the early feeling is that he died in a “lover’s quarrel.”
The victim’s sister, Soheyla Kazemi, told the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville that the young woman had expected McNair to get a divorce. “She said they were planning to get married.”
At this point, however, we can only speculate as more details continue to surface. What is clear, however, is that Steve McNair’s death has sent shock waves through the NFL community as well as the city of Nashville where McNair played football for nine seasons and currently resided. At Gridiron9, a restaurant near Tennessee State University recently opened by McNair, a small memorial has been erected by the many who have flocked to pay there respects since the news about his death surfaced Saturday afternoon.
Several friends and former teammates of McNair have publicly expressed there feelings of grief. Vince Young, a close family friend, says that he is “still in shock since hearing the news.” McNair was a mentor for Young since they met at a football camp of McNair’s that Young had attended when he was in high school.
“Since I was a teenager, he was like a father to me. I hear his advice in my head with everything I do. Life will be very different without him. My thoughts and prayers are with Mechelle, the kids and the entire McNair family during this horrible time.”
Former Oilers quarterback Warren Moon reacted to the news with the following:
“Steve and I had a mutually respected friendship. He was one of the great warriors to ever put on a football uniform at any position. His competitiveness and toughness were unparalleled. He was always a gentlemen, and very giving off the field. One of the great people in our league was taken from us way to soon. My thoughts and prayers go out to the McNair Family, and all who knew him.”
Amongst all the praise he received from his friends, family, peers, and teammates, Steve McNair was without a doubt a truly special football player. McNair was the 2003 NFL co-MVP along with Peyton Manning. As a football fan, I can remember with great clarity several spectacular moments forged at the hands of Steve McNair. He came into the league with a ton of hype out of the little I-AA school Alcorn State. The Houston Oilers, who later became known as the Tennesee Titans, drafted him #3 overall in the 1995 NFL draft and he became a mainstay for the franchise for the next 11 seasons. He led the Tennessee Titans to the 2000 Super Bowl where the fell just short losing to the St. Louis Rams in Kurt Warner’s miraculous season.McNair played the twilight of his NFL career with the Baltimore Ravens. Despite a vast injury history and a perceived decline in performance he defied the odds and played in all 16 games while leading the Ravens to a 13-3 record and an AFC North division championship in what was one of the truly heartwarming story lines of the 2006 season.
A public memorial service will held on Thursday in Nashville. The funeral is expected to take place on Saturday in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.