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The Reuters global sports blog

Fame, fortune and the death of Steve McNair


mcnairSixty years after former baseball star Eddie Waitkus survived being shot by a 19-year-old female stalker (his life story became the template for Bernard Malamud’s 1952 novel “The Natural”), police suspect former NFL quarterback Steve McNair and former world boxing champion Arturo “Thunder” Gatti were slain by women they were once intimate with.

Less than two years after retiring from sports that brought them fame and fortune, McNair, 36, and Gatti, 37, are dead. McNair, who was married with four kids, was shot to death by Sahel Kazemi, his 20-year-old mistress who worked as a waitress at Dave & Buster’s.

According to news reports, Kazemi enjoyed the good life McNair introduced her to, driving around Nashville in a 2007 Cadillac Escalade SUV he bought her. Her family told reporters she was so confident McNair was divorcing his wife of 12 years that she was preparing to sell her furniture and move in with him.

Police say she was worried about money. “We think in the last five to seven days of her life many stresses were affecting her, with one of those doubts whether her relationship with Mr. McNair was unraveling,” Police Chief Ronal Serpas told reporters.