When the NFL holds it's annual Hall of Fame ceremony on August 4th, one new member of the Hall of Fame won't even get a mention. The NFL has decided that Terrell Owen's name will not be announced during either the Gold Jacket ceremony Friday or the induction ceremony Saturday. This is due to the controversial former wide receiver's decision to skip the ceremony.
Owens declined his invitation to the ceremony back in June after he failed to be voted in during his first two years on the ballot:
Instead of making the trip to Canton, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga product will be giving his Hall of Fame speech at his alma mater.
Owens' decision to skip the official induction ceremony is unprecedented. As a result, Hall of Fame President and CEO David Baker released a statement via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk, to address the matter.
"We are disappointed but will respect Terrell's decision not to participate in the enshrinement," Baker said. "While unprecedented, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the nearly 5,000 volunteers and the entire community are committed to celebrating the excellence of the class of 2018 that will kick off the NFL's 99th season."
Hall of Fame executive director Joe Horrigan also weighed in on the issue. "The focus is on the guys who are here," Horrigan said, via Talk of Fame Network's Clark Judge, adding: "There's no reason to bring him up as an individual. He's not here."
While Owens will not be a part of the official ceremony, he and seven other legends will achieve football immortality. Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Ray Lewis, Randy Moss and Brian Urlacher will be inducted alongside Owens in the Class of 2018.