Owens boycotting enshrinement for those who ‘had to wait’

Former NFL player Terrell Owens, shown here at Game 2 of the NBA Finals, revealed his reason for skipping the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement in Canton, Ohio.Photo Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (file photo)

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Terrell Owens shared a glimpse as to why he has elected against attending the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony next month.

Owens, who will celebrate his big day on Aug. 4 at his alma mater of the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, responded to a person on Twitter who was criticizing the wide receiver for citing Jerry Kramer’s decades-long snub.

“I’m SO HAPPY for JERRY (Kramer)!!” Owens wrote. “(He) shouldn’t have had to wait that damn long either! I’m doing this for guys like him. Past, present and the future.”

Kramer, 82, was a pivotal member on Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers teams that won five NFL championships as well as the first two Super Bowls. The guard was named to the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 1960s and — for the time being — remains the lone member of the league’s 50th Anniversary Team that resides outside of the Hall of Fame.

Prior to his modern-era eligibility expiring in 1988, Kramer was a Hall of Fame finalist nine times. He also was a senior finalist in 1997.

A finalist for the past three years, Owens was selected for enshrinement in the Class of 2018 along with linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher, wide receiver Randy Moss and safety Brian Dawkins. They will be joined by Bobby Beathard (contributor) and seniors committee nominees Kramer and Robert Brazile.

Owens caused a stir last month by declaring that he would not be in attendance for the festivities in Canton, Ohio.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Thursday that it will ostensibly ignore the 44-year-old Owens during this year’s induction proceedings.

Joe Horrigan, the Hall’s executive director, told Clark Judge of the Talk of Fame Network that Owens will not be individually introduced at the Gold Jacket ceremony. In addition, Owens will not be announced the following night at Canton’s annual induction ceremony.

“The focus is on the guys who are here,” Horrigan said. “… There’s no reason to bring him up as an individual. He’s not here.”

Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin agreed with Horrigan’s stance.

“We can’t spend this moment for all these other guys talking about the guy that is not here,” the Hall of Fame receiver said Saturday at the National Fantasy Football Convention, via ESPN. “You cannot do that and take that away. He’s doing his own thing wherever he’s doing his own thing, and God bless him. And when they mention the class, they’ll mention him, but why should you steal those other guys’ moment because of the decision of this one?

“I think it’s the right move. They’re not saying he’s not going to have a bust in the room. They’re not saying he’s not getting his jacket. They’re saying, ‘We’re honoring his wish. He doesn’t want to be here with us, we’re going to mention him as little as possible.’ I think it’s the right move.”

Although Owens gained much notoriety for on-field antics and clashes with teammates and coaches, he put up sparkling numbers during his NFL career.

A six-time Pro Bowl selection, Owens resides second in career receiving yards (15,934), third in receiving touchdowns (153) and eighth in receptions with 1,078. He played for the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals.

Owens played at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga from 1992-95 and had 133 receptions for 2,320 yards and 19 touchdowns. He ranks second all-time in career receiving yards and third in touchdown catches at the school.

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