After complaining and waiting for a couple years to be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, now that it finally happened, Terrell Owens isn’t even going.
The former NFL superstar announced his decision to not attend the Aug. 4 ceremony through the following statement:
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. 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.
While I am incredibly appreciative of this opportunity, I have made the decision to publicly decline my invitation to attend the induction ceremony in Canton. I have already shared this information with the Hall. 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. At a later date, I will announce where and when I will celebrate my induction.
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.
Owens had previously selected longtime NFL assistant coach George Stewart to be his presenter. Stewart was his receivers coach in San Francisco, before Owens joined the Eagles.
During his short time in Philadelphia, Owens was dynamic. He averaged 93.5 yards per game, the highest average in franchise history. Eventually, his tenuous relationship with Donovan McNabb and his attempt to strong-arm the Eagles’ franchise into a new contract ended his time in Philadelphia.
While he had a divisive personality, his on-field play has never been questioned. He’s one of the greatest receivers in NFL history.
“We are disappointed but will respect Terrell’s decision not to participate in the Enshrinement,” Hall of Fame president David Baker said in a statement. “While unprecedented, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the nearly 5,000 volunteers and the entire community are committed to celebrating the excellence of the Class of 2018 that will kick off the NFL’s 99th season.”
The rest of the eight-member class, including Eagles great Brian Dawkins, is expected to be in Canton for the ceremony in early August.