Inside the Ravens with Aaron Wilson

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mason to speak at McNair's memorial service

A public memorial for the late former Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair has been scheduled for Thursday at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Whites Creek, Tenn.

And Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason, a close friend of McNair's who played with the former NFL Co-Most Valuable Player in Tennessee and Baltimore, will represent the organization as a speaker at the memorial service.

"Derrick said he would proud to do it," Ravens senior vice president of public relations Kevin Byrne said.

The service is scheduled for 7 p.m.A funeral for McNair, who was shot and killed Saturday in downtown Nashville in what has been ruled a homicide by law enforcement officials, will be conducted Saturday in Hattiesburg, Miss.

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome will be attending the funeral in Mississippi.Instead of sending flowers, donations have been requested for the Steve McNair Foundation at 1 Willow Bend Drive in Hattiesburg, Miss., 39402.

During an emotionally-charged press conference Monday, Titans coach Jeff Fisher thanked several members of the Ravens for sending their condolences. That included cornerback Samari Rolle, who also played with McNair in Tennessee, Mason and coach John Harbaugh. Harbaugh was with Fisher on a USO trip to visit troops in the Persian Gulf when Fisher got a telephone call from former Titans running back Eddie George informing him of McNair's death. Fisher also mentioned Ravens team owner Steve Bisciotti.

During an ESPN appearance, Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs expressed surprise at the tragic circumstances of McNair's passing.

"There are some guys that don't make good decisions and are in the wrong place at the wrong time but Steve wasn't one of those guys," Suggs said. "When I first heard about it, I thought it was a prank."

Ravens offensive tackle Jared Gaither discussed McNair on his personal blog."I was shocked and saddened when I heard about Steve McNair," Gaither wrote. "He was a great person on and off the field, always happy. He was a great, great player and will be missed by both myself and the Baltimore Ravens' organization."

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