Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and 2005 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Steve Young is one of many former players and media members chiming in on Terrell Owens’ decision to skip the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Young spoke on ESPN Wednesday afternoon, and strongly urged TO to reconsider his decision. You can view the video above or check out the transcript below. Young recognized this might have something to do with how TO feels he was treated by the voters, but he also thinks Owens would be making a huge mistake he would later regret. He thinks he would cause permanent damage to the relationships involved with his fellow Hall of Famers.
There has been a lot of push back from media and former players regarding Owens’ decision not to attend the ceremony. On the one hand, when media and non-HOF players get pissy, I find myself a little more in support of TO’s decision not to attend.
People get pissy as though he should get on his knees and be grateful. Young offers a decent point with regard to respect for his fellow Hall of Famers, but even still, should it really matter? This is an honor for Owens, so shouldn’t he be able to do as he pleases? People may not like it, but why can’t they just enjoy the ceremony for the other players and let TO do what he wants to do?
I think Young does make a good point that TO could very well regret this down the road. Maybe he won’t, and he’s an adult, so let him make his own decisions — but I would argue that is the most notable argument TO should consider. Will he one day look back and regret not going. If he is comfortable with his decision, then so be it. It’s his honor to do with as he pleases.
Here’s the full transcript of Young’s comments.
“It’s shocking, especially in context for what it feels like to be there, and the guys that you surround yourself with, and the meaning it has for you personally, and just for the team and the respect of all the people that got you there. And so I suspect that Terrell wants to do this, he’s probably, I guess he’ll do it somewhere else and we’ll all hear about it. But the problem is, life is really about relationships, and how you deal with them. And the relationship with the Hall of Fame for him has been difficult, because they delayed his time getting in. And I’m sure there’s some resentment and some scar tissue about it, but I beg him to reconsider.”
“I’m just thinking of the Nitschke luncheon that’s gonna happen probably Friday afternoon, Friday mid-day, where it’s just Hall of Famers. And you think about the names that are gonna be in that room. And the rigor of their lives and how they got there, and how they look at that honor, to be there and be a part of this — look each other in the eye. There’s something about that, that I will never forget, and always will be a big part of my life.”
“So, no matter what slight that’s been had — maybe the voters, you’re mad at the voters, so you’re gonna take it out on them — You gotta remember, that you’re really talking to these 50 guys that are gonna be in this room, and the names would just overwhelm you if you list them all — and how they’re gonna feel about it. And I gotta believe, if you’re not gonna respect that part of it, they’re probably gonna feel like you’re not welcome.
“And you know, 15 years, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, you don’t want to, the damage to the relationship could be permanent. You don’t want that. So I guess I’d like him to reconsider because the longevity of all the people that want to respect him, and that he should respect as well. Forget about, ‘I’m mad at the voters, I’m mad at the system. I’m mad at ...’ It’s just the damage that could be done by not going would overwhelm him over a period of time.”