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Hall of Fame voter strikes back after Terrell Owens declines invite to enshrinement ceremony

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Former NFL great Terrell Owens announced Thursday he won’t show up for his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and that has rubbed at least one person who voted for him the wrong way.

Hall of Fame voter Gary Myers, a former writer for the New York Daily News, said he wouldn’t have voted for TO if he knew the receiver wouldn’t attend the enshrinement ceremony in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 4.

“Terrell Owens informed Pro Football HOF he’s not attending induction ceremony. Unprecedented. Classy guy. If I knew he would not show up, I would have voted for somebody who would have. T.O was not happy it took until third year to get in. Don’t know reason he’s not showing up,” Myers tweeted, according to NBC Sports, among other news outlets.

Myers deleted his tweet, but not before a lot of people saw it and reacted to it.

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In February, Owens was selected for enshrinement in the Hall of Fame along with fellow wide receiver Randy Moss, linebackers Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher and Robert Brazile, safety Brian Dawkins, guard Jerry Kramer and general manager Bobby Beathard.

Do you think Terrell Owens should be denied enshrinement in the Hall of Fame as long as he declines to show up for the induction ceremony?

“I am so grateful for all of the support my family, friends, and certainly my fans, have shown me throughout my entire career in the National Football League. When it was announced that I was going to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the response received from my fans was overwhelming, and I am truly humbled. I am honored to be included among this group of fellow inducted individuals,” Owens tweeted Thursday.

But the six-time Pro Bowler said he will celebrate the honor elsewhere.

“While I am incredibly appreciative of this opportunity, I have made the decision to publicly decline my invitation to attend the induction ceremony in Canton,” Owens said. “I have already shared this information with the Hall. After visiting Canton earlier this year, I came to the realization that I wish to celebrate what will be one of the most memorable days of my life, elsewhere. At a later date, I will announce where and when I will celebrate my induction.”

He was elected in his third year of eligibility. Myers indicated in his deleted tweet that Owens was upset about being rejected twice before. Even after his selection to the Hall, TO lashed out at his detractors.

Hall of Fame President and CEO David Baker said they are disappointed in Owen’s decision. It’s the first time that a living member has not attended the enshrinement ceremony.

“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,” Baker said in a statement via NFL.com.

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Several of his contemporaries were baffled by his decision.

“Don’t give the voters the pleasure of knowing that they meant that much to you that when you finally got in, you’re not even showing up,” Cowboys Hall of Famer Michael Irvin said, according to NFL.com. “And the whole while you campaigned about being in. When he did not get in, he and I were shooting a commercial together one time and he came to the commercial with a Hall of Fame gold jacket with all of his records on it. So you went and made a made-up gold jacket , but you won’t show up to get the real gold jacket? It’s something beyond my capabilities of understanding up here.”

Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, who played with Owens in San Francisco, implored him to reconsider.

“The damage to the relationship could be permanent. You don’t want that,” Young said, reported the Los Angeles Times, referring to his fellow Hall of Famers. “So I beg him to reconsider because the longevity of all the people that want to respect him and that he should respect as well. Forget about, ‘I’m mad at the voters, I’m mad at the system.’ The damage that could be done by not going could overwhelm him over a period of time.”

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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