Junior Seau’s daughter won’t be allowed to speak at Hall of Fame induction

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The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the names of the people selected by the Class of 2015 to serve as their presenters and Syndey Seau was on the list as the presenter for her late father Junior Seau.

The other presenters will give speeches introducing the inductees, but the younger Seau will not. The Hall of Fame will show a five-minute video about Seau’s playing career, featuring an interview with Sydney, that makes no mention of his suicide or posthumous diagnosis of CTE. Sydney Seau told the New York Times that she wasn’t planning on making that a focus of her speech either.

“It’s frustrating because the induction is for my father and for the other players, but then to not be able to speak, it’s painful,” Sydney said. “I just want to give the speech he would have given. It wasn’t going to be about this mess. My speech was solely about him.”

Seau’s widow Gina said she was “very surprised” by the decision, which is made by the Hall and not the NFL, and that the family wouldn’t make it a “platform.” She also agreed that the focus should be on Seau’s accomplishments.

“It’s already difficult enough as it is,” Gina Seau said.

Hall of Fame spokesman Joe Horrigan said that neither the circumstances of Seau’s death nor the family’s decision to sue the NFL for wrongful death were the reason for the decision. Horrigan said “it got redundant” in the past when a presenter would repeat much of what was in the video tribute played for deceased inductees and points out that no one spoke for the late Les Richter in 2011.

Hall of Fame executive director David Baker also weighed in to say that it was the Hall’s decision and not the league’s call.

“We’re not the N.F.L., but the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Baker said. “Our mission is to honor the heroes of the game and Junior is a hero of the game. We’re going to celebrate his life, not the death and other issues.”

Whatever the reasons for the decision in Seau’s case (and Richter’s, for that matter), they’ve led to the wrong choice. On a day when Seau is being celebrated for everything he gave the game of football, the chance for someone from his family to speak in his place is one that should be as much a part of the proceedings as it would be if he were still alive.

109 responses to “Junior Seau’s daughter won’t be allowed to speak at Hall of Fame induction

  1. I can just picture Don Goodell calling the head of the Pro Football Hall of Fame into his office and “strongly encouraging” him to not allow Seau’s family to speak.

    League of denial indeed.

  2. Well, if this is now the policy of the H.O.F. that deceased inductees only get a video tribute then this is really a non-story.

    So is it, or not?

  3. Wow. This is a bad decision on so many levels. Expect humongous blowback across the public, fans, players, and media.

  4. The decision has nothing to do with his death, or lawsuit towards the league…..BUT

    “We’re going to celebrate his life, not the death and other issues.”

    Hmmmmm, what others issues are you referring to you that you just denied this being about?

  5. This is shameful. To prevent the family from speaking on Juniors behalf overshadows his accomplishments and this one-time honor. This has Rogers fingerprints all over it.

  6. Headline should read “Junior Seau’s daughter won’t be allowed to speak at Hall of Fame induction”.

    Shameful.

  7. niners816 says:
    Jul 24, 2015 3:55 PM
    I feel bad for his kids. What a selfish man Junior Seau turned out to be.

    ——————

    I feel bad for his kids too, but I don’t think it’s fair to call him selfish. When someone is mentally ill they are not necessarily thinking with the same rationale that you are.

  8. Typical… NFL/HOF is apparently too stupid to realize that this will probably be a bigger story than whatever the young lady MIGHT have said. Seems like they can’t get out of their own way half the time.

  9. Right. I’m sure the NFL had nothing to do with this. Just like they have nothing to do with how ESPN “reports” the news and whether or not Bill Simmons takes shots at Roger Goodell.

  10. Jr Seau was a true coward who only thought of himself and not his kids.

    He was NOT a man, he was a coward.

  11. It is easy to tell the NFL Head office is comprised of a bunch of lawyers

    they all lie like rugs

  12. Absolutely disgusting. The reasons for preventing his family from speaking are obvious. The NFL (I know, PFHOF is not technically the NFL) has no integrity, or desire to be honest about the true costs vs rewards of playing in the league.

  13. If there is a precedent for this process, the NFL should waive it for Junior. He was one of the greats. I was looking forward to his daughter’s speech.

    The NFL can’t get out of its own way.

  14. “It got redundant” are you freaking kidding me? Then cut your PR film about the man and let the family speak. He, and they, earned that!

  15. Wow … are the gatekeepers in Canton living in a bubble or what? I know the town’s on the outskirts of Amish country, but geez. …

    Out. Of. Touch.

  16. Man, you gotta be a special kind of brave to call a dead man a coward. Only a true coward would do such a thing.

    Let her talk. What’s she gonna say that we don’t already know?

    Make em say, “Ow!”

  17. I am disgusted at this. I will never set foot in that place ever. I am not even a fan of the Chargers but respect Seau. They are showing no respect to man who did a lot for the league. Won’t go for any reason.

  18. People can’t read apparently. It clearly states that the ProHOF made the decision and that they ARE NOT the NFL. This has occurred before (2011) so it is not new. How do u know the girl won’t bring up the lawsuit,etc?

  19. As stated in the article, this has happened before. That being said, if they did it so there would be no mention of the lawsuit or CTE. I doubly support the decision. Any person that voluntary goes into a violent sport should have the common sense enough to know there could be serious injury. Think about this fact for a minute, about 35 to 40% develop something wrong by the time they are 50 to 55 years old. Let put a generous number out there. At the most there have been 500,000 NFL players. SO roughly 200,000 of them develop symptoms. What about the rest of the older people. To make sure this is about football and not about getting old you cant just survey football. I am 45 and I forget things from time to time. Easily 100 million people in the US that are over 45. So they football players are less than half of a percent of the age group.

  20. Goodell, like the good conservative that he is, does not like inconvenient truths and wishes them away in a corrupt manner at every given opportunity.

    Corrupt buffoon is about as nice a thing as can be said about him.

  21. ceraser45 says:
    Jul 24, 2015 4:26 PM
    People can’t read apparently. It clearly states that the ProHOF made the decision and that they ARE NOT the NFL. This has occurred before (2011) so it is not new. How do u know the girl won’t bring up the lawsuit,etc?
    =======
    If you don’t believe the NFL is behind this decision, you are naive.

  22. We’ll see if the NFL made the right decision. My guess is, right after the induction ceremony, Seau’s daughter will have something to say to the sports press and if she brings up anything about head trauma or how her father was ill because of what the NFL did to him or compensation. . . .

    Again, we shall see. Perhaps if she does make a speech it will only be about Junior’s love of football, etc.

  23. OH and the people that are voicing their opinions about suicide. You are proving exactly why the HOF did this. Do you still watch Robin Williams movies?

  24. Out of respect for Junior ,showing the Video is a good idea!!

    The daughter spoke on the Video and it will be easier on her and the family in the long run.

    Let him rest in peace and be honored for his accomplishments.

    Publicly complaining about it is disrespectful to Junior and the Hall of Fame

  25. So the rule that is place is utterly ridiculous, but to break it for him because he was great is a stupid reason because they’re all great. It is the pro football hall of fame after all.

  26. Totally agree with you Josh. I’m really disappointed in the HOF decision of not allowing her to speak. It should be the same for the other inductees. A double standard has been established and it should be rectified as quickly as possible. I for one will not be attending any of HOF ceremonies this year or in the near future.

  27. This sucks.

    A really simple solution to this would be for Sydney Seau to publish the speech she would have given through any number of media outlets.

    Maybe even deliver the speech on video and post to youtube or have ESPN/Fox/CNN or another network play it on air.

  28. Can we let the focus be on the great career Junior had, instead of on how he died and all the drama behind this decision itself, please?

    We here in New England always respected him in San Diego, and were blessed to see him in the last years of his still-great career.

    THAT is what we should be talking about here

  29. nicofthenorthstar says:
    Jul 24, 2015 4:10 PM

    Absolutely disgusting. The reasons for preventing his family from speaking are obvious. The NFL (I know, PFHOF is not technically the NFL) has no integrity, or desire to be honest about the true costs vs rewards of playing in the league.

    ==============

    prove for us, please, that it didn’t start when they played pee wee football..or junior high…or high school…or college….

    why is it that the NFL is responsible for what honestly started before they ever made it to the NFL?

  30. niners816 says:
    Jul 24, 2015 3:55 PM
    I feel bad for his kids. What a selfish man Junior Seau turned out to be.

    22 110
    Report comment

    Niners BRO …..it’s not selfishness that did that it’s mental illness from traumatic brain injuries. These guys are not well after all these pops. I don’t think we can say he is selfish after all this data about how SOME of these players are suffering in later life.

  31. If the NFL is going to urge an abuse victim to publicly apologize for her role in the abuse, then it can’t be too surprising when they prevent the daughter of a deceased HOF player from speaking on his behalf at his induction so they can control the message themselves.

    Can’t risk the audience connecting the dots and linking repeated head trauma to brain damage. Bad for business.

  32. I am torn on this situation. On the one hand I think of course she should be allowed to speak, but on the other hand I have kept a close tab on the Seau family and their stance on the NFL and Junior’s death over the past couple of years.

    Bottom line, I personally don’t think the family would use this platform to attack the league. I think they know that isn’t what Junior would have wanted. I think it’s petty for the league to make this decision but I can see their point of view. The league is pelted by bad press on a weekly basis at this point the last thing they need is the family of Junior Seau saying that the NFL is responsible for Junior’s death at the HOF ceremony.

  33. Its funny, I hear alot of bashing of the NFL and HOF. Heres the thing, THEY DONT CARE. You still watch the games, you still buy the merchandise, you still root for your teams. Nothing wrong with that at all. But the NFL is a business and the only way to get the attention of a business is if they started losing money. Seeing how they just gave Goddell a raise not too long ago, y’all have a ways to go.

  34. “I feel bad for his kids. What a selfish man Junior Seau turned out to be.”

    Way to completely fail to understand what the article is about. Congratulations.

  35. Can’t risk the audience connecting the dots and linking repeated head trauma to brain damage. Bad for business.
    ——————————————–
    Its as if people think the only people who have committed suicide have played football. I could be wrong, but I would bet statistically there is no difference in the suicide rates between those who do and do not play football.

  36. Nice post Roger but no dice.

    letafan4ever says:
    Jul 24, 2015 4:32 PM
    Out of respect for Junior ,showing the Video is a good idea!!

    The daughter spoke on the Video and it will be easier on her and the family in the long run.

    Let him rest in peace and be honored for his accomplishments.

    Publicly complaining about it is disrespectful to Junior and the Hall of Fame

  37. I dont feel sorry for the players though. I cant beleive they could be so stupid as to not realize what repeated high speed collisions could do to you. So its a money grab by players families and players that mismanaged their money. From now on, if you want to play pro football, you should be required to sign a waiver absolving the NFL of liability. Nobody is forcing them to play.

  38. So the PFHOF is not the NFL….how many non-NFL associated members are there ? Any from the USFL ? Canadian league ? Lingerie Football League ?

  39. Wasn’t there a player from the 49ers who quit just this year because he was concerned about his long-term health?

    Well, currently there are about 3000 players in the NFL, including practice squads. If head trauma has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt, then these men continue to play knowing the dangers.

  40. Honestly, there are more and more days with stuff like this that make me wonder if it really is worth following the NFL any more. It gets harder all the time to ignore the ugly underbelly of the game.

  41. Didn’t Reggie White’s wife give an induction speech after he died?

    Bad move (and explanation) by HOF.

  42. It gets harder all the time to ignore the ugly underbelly of the game.
    =======================
    Lol. Have you been to Detroit lately? Or Oakland? There’s probably half a dozen murders in cities like them every weekend. Now that’s what a real ugly underbelly looks like.

    But you think the NFL not wanting to give somebody a podium and a microphone in which to bash them is. Weird.

  43. The answer to this is obvious.. if they are worried about her turning the induction ceremony into her own personal pulpit as the Oscars have become, let her tape her speech and show that. If she is already on the video that has already been prepared, then what’s the big deal? She is not being barred from the event.. she can give out her personal message to everyone she sees. She just won’t be allowed to spew it out over live tv.

  44. What did u expect from the sham HOF/NFL! Without gambling/fantasy football, the NFL would be nothing. It’s amazing what a joke it’s become.

  45. mogogo1 – “The ugly underbelly of the game.”

    Good phrase.

    FYI – I’m 71+ years old, I watched the Greatest Game Ever Played on a B&W TV the size of a thumbnail and in my day the players had to get off-season jobs to make ends meet. In my day some of the players like Gino Marchetti had served in WWII.

    So what I hear you saying.

    So this – start with the strange case of the deflated balls. The punishments and suspensions and fines announced were all draped around the rancid phrase ‘The integrity of the game.”

    And not long ago there was the little issue of retired players having serious trouble with concussion problems.

    The report on the deflated balls (love that phrase!) was 243 pages long, making it more than 200 pages longer than the report on the concussion problems of former players.

    What does that tell you about their priorities?

    Now the daughter of one of the greats of the game who committed suicide because of his concussions has been denied the chance to speak at the HOF induction of her father.

    This is NOT about the “integrity of the game”. This is about

    1) Ego – e.g. Jimmy Johnson or the clown who owns the Redskins

    2) – CYA – figure it out

    3) Money

    Yours.

  46. What right does this site have to claim the HOF made the wrong choice to disallow the family that sued the NFL to speak at its own benefit? This family has shown in the past that it will use any opportunity to further its own cha-Ching agenda.

  47. Crass and low class. Junior sure as hell won’t be taking up their precious time. Can’t give the Kid a few minutes???

  48. They’re trying to head off any controversy by creating controversy and censoring people. This just became a PR disaster. I would love it each of the inductees gave part of her speech just to stick it to Goodell.

    The Hall can deny it all they want, but it’s clear as day that the NFL/ Goodell put pressure on the Hall.

  49. Does this really matter to all the posters on here? Does anyone watch the hall of fame induction and really care about the speech of a family member? I don’t care either way. He got in. That’s all that should matter on that day

  50. Lol. Have you been to Detroit lately? Or Oakland? There’s probably half a dozen murders in cities like them every weekend. Now that’s what a real ugly underbelly looks like.

    Have YOU ever even been to Detroit or are you just talking complete nonsense about a topic you know absolutely nothing about? I was in Detroit last weekend and there weren’t any murders. Try to educate yourself at least a little bit.

  51. What an absolutely disingenuous statement from Joe. I thought he was an honest man. Not anymore I’m don’t. He is now another NFL sellout

  52. Its pretty obvious to me that the reason they won’t let her speak is because they’re afraid of what she may say. Roger Goodell doesn’t want to be embarrassed…..again!

  53. Have YOU ever even been to Detroit or are you just talking complete nonsense about a topic you know absolutely nothing about? I was in Detroit last weekend and there weren’t any murders. Try to educate yourself at least a little bit.
    ================================
    How about YOU educating yourself. Now this was just a guess, but it was an educated guess

    Homicides in Detroit
    2012 411
    2013 333
    2014 300

    Roughly 30-40 a month or one a day or EVEN half a dozen or so EVERY weekend.

    The more you know: :shooting star:

  54. Maybe it’s an honor. The HOF is a caricature of itself. Homely building, stuck in the middle of nowhere, so many good players not included while so many marginal ones inside – including killers and jailbirds. The whole politicized system of who votes. The bottom line is that the HOF is basically a joke.

  55. joetoronto says:
    Jul 24, 2015 4:10 PM

    Jr Seau was a true coward who only thought of himself and not his kids.

    He was NOT a man, he was a coward.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    JoeToronto, how about you stick to trolling the CFL?!

    Junior Seau was an an elite athlete who collided at car-crash impact until he beat his brains out hundreds of games for years, in order to entertain us. I don’t know the stage of his mental health when his life ended, and neither do you.

    I submit you are not the poster-child of Bravery!

    ~Broncos fan

  56. NFL has messed up just about everything but I agree with this. How can they be sure she doesn’t turn this hall of fame afternoon into an indictment of how the NFL was responsible for her fathers suicide. You know it’s funny I can’t recall any family members complaining before guys died about the NFL. Must have had a little something to do with fame and fortune.

  57. I honestly believe that the NFL played no role in the decision & that if it was left to Goodell, he’d stand next to Sydney if she’d be allowed to present.

    With that said, I’m going to watch season 2 of Playmakers.

    Stay classy, Roger!

  58. niners816 says:
    Jul 24, 2015 3:55 PM
    I feel bad for his kids. What a selfish man Junior Seau turned out to be.
    =========

    There is no single opinion in the world that shows a greater ignorance of the core issue being discussed than “people who commit suicide are selfish”. Translated it means “I have no concept of what mental illness does to a person, I have no understanding of how their mind is functioning. So instead of attempting to gain an understanding of what they are going through, I will lazily assume that their brain is functioning exactly like mine is and thus conclude that they are being selfish”.

    Sounds pretty dumb when you say it like that, no? Well, that’s how dumb you sound to the rest of us.

  59. clickablecontent says:
    Jul 24, 2015 7:29 PM
    Would you provide someone suing you an open platform at your house?
    ==

    Did you actually read the article? The NFL and the Hall of Fame are separate entities. Seau is not suing the HOF.

  60. It’s not like me ton bash another Raider fan ( joetoronto ) but your comment is just asinine. Seau was an incredible athlete who gave up his body on every play to help his team and entertain the fans. You do not know how severe his mental illness was, he was not a coward, he was a man suffering from severe head trauma brought on by years of repeated hits during games and practice. I do feel sorry for his family and his daughter should be allowed to speak on his behalf.
    -A Raiders Fan

  61. “Hall of Fame spokesman Joe Horrigan said that neither the circumstances of Seau’s death nor the family’s decision to sue the NFL for wrongful death were the reason for the decision.”

    Cough…………

  62. guys. There are no speeches at the Hall Of fame anymore. The player gets an Intro video then that player speaks. That player is dead. He doesn’t speak. That easy. It has nothing to do with anything else. I like how they failed to mention that no other presentor would be “giving a speech” either

  63. Men play the game for the love of the game and financial security. The NFL is pure greed

  64. Just out of curiosity.. is this standard practice? Players being inducted into the Hall who have passed don’t get their family to speak on their behalf?

  65. Sorry folks, I still love the NFL…but there is not one “hero” in there. These are men who played a game for a living. “Elite athlete who gave his all?” Really? What about soldiers? Police, fire, teachers…there is no hall for them, there is no hope of being a millionaire.

    We pitty the Seau family and anyone who has experienced mental illness or taken their own life (in a single moment or over several years) but let stop with the Hero crap.

  66. “The Truth says:
    Jul 24, 2015 6:38 PM
    NFL has messed up just about everything but I agree with this. How can they be sure she doesn’t turn this hall of fame afternoon into an indictment of how the NFL was responsible for her fathers suicide. ”

    They could ask her.

  67. Another day. Another terrible decision by Commissioner Goodell. What’s new?
    He is paid his $44M per annum to increase profits for the owners (this is not about the game or the fans, it’s strictly about money). The silencing of Junior’s daughter is all about risk management and keeping control of the message communicated to the public. The media lapdogs (Goodell’s poodles) will be given their talking points on how to spin it but the uncomfortable reality is that Seau’s suicide is possibly linked to CTE.

  68. They go out of their way to say the HOF is not controlled by the NFL.

    As a poster said, the Seau family is not suing the HOF. Why should they care if Sydney mentions the CTE issue?

    Another fiasco from Rodger

  69. Just went I thought the commissioner, the NFL, and it’s associates couldn’t get any more stupid, they do something like this.

    Mark Cuban was right.

  70. Only goodell could come up with something so classless as this. He’s not only a liar, he’s classless and creepy too.

  71. I have watched NFL football since I was 5 years old.
    I love the game.
    I love the history.
    I love the tradition.
    I even love the teams that I hate like the Packers and the Cowboys.

    After all these years I am drifting away from the game because I have grown tired and disgusted with what the game is becoming and the direction the league is headed.
    This is just one more nail in the “I have better things to do” coffin.

  72. Haven’t watched a HOF induction ceremony in years. I can assure you I will never watch another.

    And the people calling Seau a coward and selfish here, not a peep would be heard from you except to ask for his autograph and fawn over him if he was standing in front of you, bunch of phony internet tough guys!

  73. Maybe PFT could bring her on their show to read it. Or at least transcribe it in the column. What a great gesture that would be. It would be even sweeter to give ol’ Rog some of the biznaz though

  74. These are not real men who run the NFL. It’s very sad that our dollars go to support these spineless cowards.
    They hide from the backlash of public opinions like roaches when the lights are turned on.
    These people are a disgrace.

  75. Goodell is already on the edge of being fired for multiple screw ups. Outside of the co-conspirators in Framegate and the Jets, he has NO support among the owners at all. With BRADY VS NFL threatening to significantly damage the league’s ability to manage its own disciplinary matters, this could be the straw that breaks the camels back. This infuriates everyone. He’s lost the people’s trust, long ago.

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