Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald paid tribute to Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP senators appalled by 'ridiculous' House infighting MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace, Chris Christie battle over Fox News Trump's attacks on McConnell seen as prelude to 2024 White House bid MORE (R-Ariz.) in a Christmas-themed op-ed over the holiday weekend, citing McCain's military service and his close relationship with the veteran senator.
"The sacrifices John McCain has made for our country, and especially the men and women he served with in the military, are incredible," Fitzgerald wrote in a Sports Illustrated op-ed published Saturday.
"As a prisoner of war in Vietnam he missed six Christmases with his family back home and suffered unbelievable hardship," he continued.
Fitzgerald also referenced a trip he took to Vietnam, saying he saw the lake where McCain's plane was shot down and the prison he was held during the war.
The NFL player wrapped up the piece by wishing the GOP senator well in his current fight against brain cancer.
"As soon as my boys are of age, I’ll tell them stories about the quality of the man I’ve gotten to know. I’ll tell them: Senator John McCain will be revered and respected for as long as the United States of America has a place in this world, and his legacy will outlive us all," he wrote.
McCain took to Twitter to respond to Fitzgerald, saying he was "deeply touched."
McCain, who is an Arizona Cardinals fan, personally knows Fitzgerald and has tweeted at the wide receiver during games in the past.
The op-ed comes as McCain battles an aggressive form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma.
The senator was forced to miss the Senate's vote on tax reform earlier this month in order to receive treatment in Arizona.