The effort to secure a gold jacket and ring for the family of Ken Stabler and other Hall of Famers who were deceased when inducted has gotten a boost from one of the NFL owners who serves on the Hall of Fame’s Board of Trustees.
Washington owner Daniel Snyder is in favor of awarding the jacket and ring posthumously, according to team spokesman Tony Wyllie.
Steelers owner Dan Rooney, also on the Board of Trustees, did not have an immediate opinion but is open to discussing the matter. Bears chairman George McCaskey has deferred to the Hall of Fame on the matter. The other three owners currently on the Board of Trustees — Jerry Jones of the Cowboys, Jimmy Haslam of the Browns, and Denise DeBartolo York of the 49ers — have not responded to requests for comment submitted by PFT through their respective teams.
Commissioner Roger Goodell, another member of the Board of Trustees, referred PFT to the Hall of Fame, via a league spokesman.
The policy has been in place for years. Last week, one of the Stabler’s daughters brought the topic to light via social media, after several Bears Hall of Famers received new Rings of Excellence made by Kay Jewelers to replace the more basic class-ring-style items that the Hall previously bestowed on members who were alive at the time of induction.
The Hall of Fame’s operational board, which meets every two months and includes no owners nor the Commissioner, decided in June to keep the policy in place, after reconsidering it at the request of Stabler’s family. His other two daughters issued a statement through the Hall of Fame expressing acceptance of the policy.
If the policy changes, those receiving the jacket and ring would include the family of former Washington coach George Allen, who was enshrined after his passing. Allen’s son, Bruce, currently serves as Snyder’s top football executive.
Regardless of the connection and potential benefit to the Allen family, it’s the right thing to do — and Snyder deserves credit for opting to take a public stand on the issue.