Terrell Owens is not attending the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony, and his reason is a bit complicated. Owens’ overarching message is that he believes the selection process is flawed, and has instead decided to have his own ceremony at his Alma mater, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Owens explained his reasoning for skipping the ceremony in Canton, Ohio in an interview with ESPN.
“I understand why I’ve made my decision,” Owens said Friday before treating 32 boys from the Boys to Men youth program to a shopping spree. “I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. But again, obviously the criteria and the system put in place for the Hall of Fame in order for guys like myself to be inducted, there are guidelines that the writers — the sportswriters — are supposed to adhere to.
“This is not [about] not being inducted the first or second ballot, but it’s about the process in which guys are nominated and ultimately inducted. There is a flaw in that system. So this is not only about me, but it’s about the guys that went before me, that’s going to come after me. And I can make a stand for those guys so they won’t have to go through this situation.”
Owens’ frustration dates back years after feeling he was previously snubbed from the Hall of Fame. It is an extremely rare situation, but attendance for the ceremony is not mandatory as Owens will still be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Owens will not be officially recognized during the actual ceremony. Owens chose to deliver his own speech on the same day at 3:17 p.m. since he is the 317th person inducted into the hall, per Times Free Press. Owens announced the party in a statement released on Twitter on July 3.
As many of you know, I am foregoing the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Canton. After giving it much thought, I have realized just how much I want to celebrate what will inevitably be the best weekend of my life at a place that means so much to me.
I have decided to give my Hall of Fame speech at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in McKenzie Arena on Saturday, August 4. The event, which is free and open to the public, starts at 3:17 p.m.
I’m proud to be a Moc, and I’m honored to be able to share this experience with my family, friends, teammates and fans at the place that provided me an opportunity beyond high school and where I truly began to find myself as an athlete. Thank you to everyone who has supported my celebration decision. I look forward to seeing you all in Chattanooga.
Getcha popcorn ready!
Owens’ celebration was free and open to the public. Owens is also hosting an after-party from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. as detailed on Owens’ website.
Getcha Popcorn Ready as we celebrate one of UTC’s greats headed into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Come celebrate with Terrell Owens at Southside Social on Saturday, August 4 from 9p-1a. Music will be provided by special celebrity guest DJ Irie! Food, drinks and bowling will be available for purchase at this exclusive, private event honoring Pro Football Hall of Famer Terrell Owens.
Source: Heavy Sports