Sports | September 26, 2017 9:48 am

Pat Tillman’s Widow Asks That Her Husband’s Memory Not Be Politicized

Released statement to CNN on her late husband, NFL star who was killed in action in '04.

With the debate surrounding the NFL sideline protests heating up, it was only a matter of time before political pundits started invoking the name and memory of Pat Tillman.

Not on Marie Tillman’s watch, though.

Tillman’s widow, Marie, has released a statement to CNN regarding her late husband’s memory: “As a football player and soldier, Pat inspired countless Americans to unify. It is my hope that his memory should always remind people that we must come together. Pat’s service, along with that of every man and woman’s service, should never be politicized in a way that divides us. We are too great of a country for that. Those that serve fight for the American ideals of freedom, justice and democracy. They and their families know the cost of that fight. I know the very personal costs in a way I feel acutely every day.”

She continued: “The very action of self-expression and the freedom to speak from one’s heart—no matter those views—is what Pat and so many other Americans have given their lives for. Even if they didn’t always agree with those views. It is my sincere hope that our leaders both understand and learn from the lessons of Pat’s life and death, and also those of so many other brave Americans.”

Drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 1998 and playing through 2001, Pat Tillman enlisted in the Army shortly after the September 11th terrorist attacks and was tragically killed in action in 2004.