Lawyer: HOF told Seau family that Sydney could speak

Reuters

The Seau family members are OK with the Hall of Fame’s policy on posthumously-inducted players. Unless they aren’t.

Seau family lawyer Steve Strauss has issued a statement to Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal in which Strauss says Seau’s family still objects to the decision to prevent Seau’s daughter from speaking at the upcoming induction ceremony.

“The Seau family appreciates the overwhelming support for Sydney Seau to be able to accept Junior’s induction into the Hall of Fame live and in her own words,” Strauss said. “Unfortunately, the Hall of Fame is unwilling to reverse its decision despite communicating to the family earlier this year that Sydney would be able to speak at the ceremony. Contrary to the most recent statement by the Hall of Fame, the family does not support the current policy that prevents family members from delivering live remarks on behalf of deceased inductees. However, the Seau family does not want this issue to become a distraction to Junior’s accomplishments and legacy or those of the other inductees. The Seau family never intended to use the Hall of Fame as a platform to discuss the serious mental health issues facing the NFL today which are most appropriately addressed in a legal forum. The Seau family looks forward to celebrating Junior’s extraordinary accomplishments at the Hall of Fame.”

Although the end result is still the same — the Seau family is accepting the policy — the suggestion from Strauss that the Hall of Fame previously told the Seau family that his daughter, Sydney, would be able to speak is news. And it conflicts directly with the five-year-old policy that the Hall of Fame adopted in 2010.

It’s no surprise that Strauss released the statement. Eventually, he may be trying to persuade a jury as to the merits of Seau’s wrongful-death case. Everyone in the jurisdiction where the case would be tried is a potential juror, and if they feel better about the Seau family and/or worse about the NFL now, that could come in handy later.

36 responses to “Lawyer: HOF told Seau family that Sydney could speak

  1. There will be a lot of boycotting and bad press for the HOF and the League if the do not let the family speak at the induction. Its the right thing to do, let her speak……

  2. That’s a great legal angle by Strauss, and a pretty deplorable rule by then NFL. Seems that the NFL’s benefit gained from Dead HOFers families at their HOF induction ceremony couldn’t compare to the heartache caused to the muzzled family member on what should be a joyous day to express pride in their dead family member.

    Unless everything in the world is about not getting sued for concussion stuff for the NFL. Oh wait, it is.

  3. That’s a great legal angle by Strauss, and a pretty deplorable rule by then NFL. Seems that the NFL’s benefit gained from *muzzling* Dead HOFers families at their HOF induction ceremony couldn’t compare to the heartache caused to the muzzled family member on what should be a joyous day to express pride in their dead family member.

    Unless everything in the world is about not getting sued for concussion stuff for the NFL. Oh wait, it is.

  4. “the current policy prevents family members from delivering live remarks on behalf of deceased inductees.”

    WHO on Earth decided on that policy and WHY?!? In a perfect world, that would be the ONLY person you want on stage when inducting a player posthumously.

    But, it appears there is someone who wants to muffle the NFL’s wrong-doing as it relates to the mush that is player brain matter.

  5. I just assumed this was the “Carl Peterson rule” aimed at preventing touching tributes from lasting 7 hours.

  6. Excluding you favorite player or a player from your favorite team, who of us really watches more than 5 minutes of any speech or portion of the ceremony anyway? Although I think she should be invited to speak. I’m really not outraged by something I’m not going to watch anyway.

  7. Can’t blame the NFL and smart of them to see this coming down the road. We don’t need to be reminded, at least the smart ones don’t, that pro football is a very rough and dangerous sport, especially by family members that ate the fruit it provided for 20+ years.

  8. @dasmol
    Everything the NFL does requires a lawyers and litigation. IMO, they should be reimbursing the justice system for using so much of its time.

  9. As an avid NFL fan who hasn’t missed a second of Packers football in 15 years, not once have I ever watched the Hall of Fame inductee ceremony.

    I do, however, think that Seau’s daughter shouldn’t be allowed to speak at the ceremony. The Pro Football Hall of Fame should exclusively relate to football and not be a stage for Seau’s daughter to tell us we’re terrible for cheering a sport where it’s possible to suffer brain injury.

    While her situation is sad, she lost her father, I’m sure she is also enjoying the millions of dollars he made during his career. Until she’s willing to give up any/every penny that Junior Seau earned on the field. Her word carries little weight.

  10. It’s been that way for some time now when Bob Hayes was put in his son did the videotape this is not something new just no what the rules are before you post on this subject

  11. The HoF wants the ceremony steamlined. So why don’t they make all inductions posthumous? Then it won’t take any time at all.

    Or they could work the inductees to make sure the speeches stay short for ALL inductees.

  12. rolltide510 says:
    I just assumed this was the “Carl Peterson rule” aimed at preventing touching tributes from lasting 7 hours.

    _____________________

    We have a winner! Derrick Thomas was a phenomenal player and very deserving of his enshrinement. But nobody deserved Carl Peterson that day. As much as I deplore how scummy the NFL’s ‘leadership’ has become in it’s constant CYA efforts this is not one we can legitimately pillory them for. But not to worry there are still plenty of other reasons to hold them in contempt

  13. This to me was likely done on orders of the NFL on the advice of legal council as the NFL likely knows that families of more recently deceased players could very well use the stage to bemoan what happened to such, especially with those who have been found to have serious brain issues.

    Given how some overzealous attorney might try to “make a name” for themselves if such families spoke, especially if some other family sued because of such speech, the NFL likely told the HOF not to allow families of deceased players to speak or face being sued.

  14. Who watches this stuff anyway? I gave up watching when the media put a “tear-ometer” on the speeches.

  15. In a previous article didn’t it say that this is the HOF’s rule? They are a different entity/organization than the NFL. I realize the connection between the two, but this isn’t the NFL’s decision or rule

  16. This makes the NFL look bad, plain and simple. Don’t want her to speak too long? Give her a strict time limit. Other than that, what purpose does the ban serve?

    @rcali: Seau is being inducted into the HoF. Preventing a family member from speaking on his behalf is ridiculous. You seem to feel that his daughter should have nothing to say, but this is a tribute to him, so why should his family be excluded?

    And so what if they “ate the fruit”, as you say? Seau made some money in the NFL – which he deserved because of his athletic talent and the work he put in – so his family should shut up and go away? I don’t get your point.

    So many people have this underlying bitterness toward the money players make (while the owners are allowed to make as much as they want without any issue being raised), which I don’t understand. No NFL player is taking money out of my wallet – if I could play in the NFL I would – any of us would. But we can’t, so why does it matter to you? If you don’t want to support the players, don’t spend any money that goes to the NFL. Simple as that.

  17. It’s a Hall of Fame induction… Not a Eulogy!

    Allowing the family to speak will clearly take away the other inductees moment…duh!

  18. Every time there’s an article about the NFL front office I get this rotten smell coming from my computer.

  19. As an avid NFL fan who hasn’t missed a second of Packers football in 15 years, not once have I ever watched the Hall of Fame inductee ceremony.

    I do, however, think that Seau’s daughter shouldn’t be allowed to speak at the ceremony. The Pro Football Hall of Fame should exclusively relate to football and not be a stage for Seau’s daughter to tell us we’re terrible for cheering a sport where it’s possible to suffer brain injury.

    While her situation is sad, she lost her father, I’m sure she is also enjoying the millions of dollars he made during his career. Until she’s willing to give up any/every penny that Junior Seau earned on the field. Her word carries little weight.
    ———————————————————-
    As a life long Packer fan of 30 years I think she should be allowed to speak. I read a article where she was going to talk about celebrating is life, and was not going to talk about the dangers of the NFL that had ended her fathers life.

  20. They should let the family speak. Review the speech beforehand if you must, but let the family speak.

  21. By attempting to censor the family to avoid the controversy of concussions (read lawsuits), the NFL and the Hall of Fame have created even further controversy and drawn even more attention to the issue. Along the way they have created a PR nightmare and caused embarrassment to the NFL. They should fire the lawyers and PR staff for being such morons.

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