Terrell Owens officially becomes a Pro Football Hall of Famer today, and he officially becomes the first Hall of Famer to boycott the enshrinement ceremony.
Owens instead gave a speech in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in which he critiqued the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s selection committee, which is made up primarily of members of the media.
“The sports writers are not in alignment with the mission and core values of the Hall of Fame,” Owens said, via Kevin Boilard of 24/7 Sports.
Owens said he showed courage by sticking to his guns.
“I am a man of courage. Courageous enough to choose Chattanooga over Canton,” he said.
But if Owens wanted to be courageous, why not speak truth to power, show up in Canton and deliver the same remarks there, face to face with the Hall of Fame voters who attend the enshrinement ceremony? Why not follow the lead of Lynn Swann, who was snubbed for many years before finally getting voted in to the Hall of Fame, and who used his enshrinement speech to advocate for his teammate John Stallworth, who had been similarly snubbed. The next year, the voters put Stallworth in the Hall of Fame, too.
Owens gave his speech and made his case, but the voters he wants to persuade weren’t there to hear it.