Terrell Owens declines Hall of Fame induction invite in public statement


Once a diva, always a diva.

Notoriously self-centered former NFL star Terrell Owens announced Thursday that he won’t be in Canton, Ohio, in August for his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The reason?

“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,” he said.


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It appears this will be the first time in any of the major North American sports that a player has declined to attend his own Hall of Fame induction.

Hall of Fame President and CEO David Baker said he was “disappointed” by Owen’s “unprecedented” decision.

TO had been critical of voters for not putting him in the previous two years he was eligible, calling the selection process “flawed” and labeling the Hall a “joke.”

When he finally got the call in February, he posted a photo of a Hall of Fame hat on Instagram along with the caption, “CONGRATS to the HOF CLASS OF 2018. We’re GOLDEN!”

But it was clear that Owens still held on to some bitterness.

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Aside from the part about not showing up for his enshrinement, TO sounded the right notes of gratitude and humility in his announcement Thursday.

Do you agree with Owens' decision not to show up for his Hall of Fame induction?

“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,” Owens said. “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. …

“I would also like to thank the San Francisco 49ers, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Dallas Cowboys, the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals for the time I was granted with each organization. I am thankful for the relationships forged and the lessons learned while part of each team.

“I wish to congratulate all past, current and future inductees. It is quite an honor to be part of such elite company. This honor is something that I will cherish forever.”

He said he will “announce where and when I will celebrate my induction” at a later date.

Along with Owens, the Class of 2018 includes fellow wide receiver Randy Moss, linebackers Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher and Robert Brazile, safety Brian Dawkins, guard Jerry Kramer and general manager Bobby Beathard.

The induction ceremony is set for Aug. 4.

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Todd Windsor is a senior story editor at The Western Journal. He has worked as an editor or reporter in news and sports for more than 30 years.
Todd Windsor is a senior story editor at The Western Journal. He was born in Baltimore and grew up in Maryland. He graduated from the University of Miami (he dreams of wearing the turnover chain) and has worked as an editor and reporter in news and sports for more than 30 years. Todd started at The Miami News (defunct) and went on to work at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., the St. Petersburg (now Tampa Bay) Times, The Baltimore Sun and Space News before joining Liftable Media in 2016. He and his beautiful wife have two amazing daughters and a very old Beagle.
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Phoenix, Arizona
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