Mourners Flood McNair's Hometown to Pay Respects

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2009 6:20 AM CDT

(Newser) – Steve McNair's Mississippi home town boasts only 1,000 residents, but more than 2,500 came to mourn him there yesterday. The murdered NFL star's body was brought home after a memorial service Thursday in Nashville; fans came from all over the country to pay their respects, standing in line for hours in 95-degree heat, the Clarion Ledger reports. McNair will be laid to rest today after a funeral in Hattiesburg, where a capacity crowd is expected.

"Everybody in Mount Olive was proud of Steve, not just because he was famous but because he stayed the same down-home guy who was always doing something to help folks," the town's mayor tells the Clarion-Ledger. "Sometimes, people go off and get famous and forget where they came from. That was not Steve. He was one of us." At the service Thursday, his family and dozens of NFL players listened to tributes to the star's generous nature, the Tennessean reports, while a pastor urged a them to "drop their stones" of judgment over the affair that led to the quarterback's death. (Read more Steve McNair stories.)