Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Connor paid homage to one of the city’s native sons — by putting the image and name of fallen rapper Mac Miller on his cleats for the Steelers game on Sunday. The Steelers were set to face off against the Kansas City Chiefs. The customized cleats bear Miller’s face on both sides as well as the phrase “Thank you Mac,” with “RIP MAC” inscribed on the tongue of each shoe, according to reports from E Online.
Connor revealed the cleats to his followers on Saturday via his Twitter account before wearing them for the game against the Chiefs. The running back simply captioned the photo, “Thank you Mac.”
Connor was not the only one in attendance at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field to pay tribute to the late Miller on Sunday, as the rapper’s greatest hits were blasted on the stadium’s speakers throughout the game. The Steelers were unable to cinch victory however, losing 42-37.
The Steelers had paid their respects to Miller shortly after news broke of his passing through their team Twitter account, tweeting out a photo of Miller dressed head-to-toe in his hometown gear with the caption, “RIP Mac Miller. Thanks for being a great Steelers fan.” Miller was a life-long supporter of the Steelers, and was often seen at games whenever he had free time in the city, frequently seen standing on the sidelines and taking part in the Steelers’ famous “Terrible Towel” ritual.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 21, 2015
When the rapper was out and about in public it wasn’t uncommon to see him wearing Steelers’ jerseys. He counted several team members as friends. When Steelers player Ryan Shazier went down with what appeared to be a life-altering spinal injury, Miller tweeted his support and wore his jersey in a YouTube interview where he backed the Steelers fanbase as the “greatest fans in the world.”
During that same interview — conducted on the sidelines of Heinz Field in 2017 — Miller described his passion for the team, saying, “It’s the most important thing in my life probably. It goes Steelers first, always. It’s just incredible to feel the energy in the stadium and also be a part of it, you know? Do it whenever I can, man.”
Ariana Grande was even indoctrinated into the Steelers Nation when she was dating Miller, herself becoming a fixture at some of the big games in Pittsburgh. The Inquisitr covered Miller’s death earlier in the month, when law enforcement was called to his home in the San Fernando Valley. The rap artist was declared dead at the scene. Miller’s cause of death is yet to be confirmed, pending the return of a toxicology report.