HOF President: Owens Feels Disrespected

Terrell Owens thought he should have been a first-ballot Hall of Famer and will not attend his enshrinement Aug. 4

Taz and the Moose
July 23, 2018 - 9:12 am

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Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, wide Terrell Owens, and Brian Urlacher will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug 4. It is the greatest honor a football player can receive.

And Terrell Owens doesn’t want to be a part of it.

“Well, what he told me was that he feels disrespected, that he should have been a first-ballot Hall of Famer,” Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker said on Taz & The Moose. “My conversations with him, I’ll tell you: they’ve been good, and they’ve been very respectful. I disagree (with him). I’d love for him to be there because I think he would finally get the honor that he’s always wanted. But having said that, he’s a grown man. I respect his decision. His conversation with me has been respectful. I believe mine with him has been very respectful.”

Owens, a third-ballot Hall of Famer, retired with 1,078 catches for 15,934 yards, which ranks second all time, and 153 touchdowns, which ranks third all time. He will be referenced throughout Hall of Fame weekend but will not be honored.

“He won’t be there for us to honor,” Baker said. “It’s not that we’re not honoring him. On the contrary, we’re going to honor him not just for that night, but we’re going to honor him for all time. He is welcome at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He’s still welcome to come. He’s welcome to come every day for the rest of his life. We’re going to honor him just like we do the other guys. But the difficulty is I don’t know how we honor him in the parade if he’s not in the parade. I don’t know how we give him his gold jacket if he’s not there.”

Owens, 44, will instead give his Hall of Fame speech at his alma mater, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, on Aug. 4. Baker has no hard feelings about Owens’ decision.

“Aug. 4 is going to be his enshrinement, but we’re going too honor him every day thereafter for that next 40,000 years,” Baker said. “He’s going to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame with all those other guys. He’s made his decision Our responsibility is to honor him. The first line is to honor the heroes of the game. That is Terrell Owens. That will be, upon his induction, 318 other of the greatest men to have ever played this game – of the 300 million that have probably played it.”