When the news broke that former wide receiver and NFL legend Terrell Owens was going to join his brethren as a Pro Football Hall of Famer at the Canton induction ceremony this year, we weren’t expecting him to decline. Of course, that is precisely what transpired earlier today, when ESPN reporter Adam Schefter shared Owens' public statement on Twitter.
As far as the induction ceremony in Canton on August 4 goes, Owen’s peers Randy Moss, Ray Lewis, Brian Dawkins, Brian Urlacher, Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile and Jerry Kramer are still scheduled to attend. Owens, however, would rather celebrate that momentous career achievement somewhere else—which, frankly, is an understandable deviation from the norm.
“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,” he explained. “At a later date, I will announce where and when I will celebrate my induction.”
While it’s unclear just exactly what he means by that—will this personally organized induction be a private event, televised, open to fans, etc.?—the decision to process such a lifelong victory somewhere other than a celebrity-filled gala is completely in line with someone who prefers peace and quiet to the glitz of a world-famous event. According to NBC Sports, however, Hall of Fame President & CEO David Baker doesn’t seem particularly enthralled by that decision.
“We are disappointed but will respect Terrell’s decision not to participate in the Enshrinement,” he said. “As we do not want to detract from this great honor being enjoyed by the seven other members of the Class of 2018, their family, friends, and fans; the Pro Football Hall of Fame will have no further comment on the decision made by Terrell Owens.”