Future inductee Terrell Owens won’t be in Canton, Ohio, for next month’s enshrinement festivities, so the Pro Football Hall of Fame will simply ignore him during its annual induction ceremony next month.
Executive director Joe Horrigan said Owens will not be introduced at both the Gold Jacket Dinner Friday, Aug. 3, and Saturday’s induction ceremony. Instead, Horrigan said the Hall of Fame will mail Owens’ gold jacket Saturday morning.
“There’s no reason to bring him up as an individual,” Hall of Fame executive director Joe Horrigan told Clark Judge of the Talk of Fame Network. “He’s not here.”
According to the Talk of Fame Network, Horrigan did say, however, that when the entire 2018 class is referenced as a collective unit, Owens’ “name will be included.”
Horrigan later added that “the focus is on the guys who are here.”
Owens, rather than being in Canton, Ohio for the weekend’s event, announced on Twitter that he will be celebrating his induction at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Owens said he will deliver his acceptance speech on campus the afternoon of Aug. 4 and that the event will be free and open to the public.
After being outspoken with his criticisms of the Hall of Fame voting process when he was denied entry after his first two years of eligibility in 2016 and ’17, Owens was voted into the hall in February. His decision to decline the invitation to Canton is unprecedented for any living inductee.
Aside from Owens, Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, and Brian Urlacher were voted in as the class of 2018.
Follow Lorenzo Reyes on Twitter @LorenzoGReyes.