Junior Seau’s induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame next month will feature a video celebrating his on-field accomplishments, but no mention of his football-caused brain injuries or his self-inflicted fatal gunshot wound in 2012. It also will not feature any words from his family members.
That’s according to the New York Times, which spoke with a shocked Seau family; Seau’s daughter Sydney had been planning an induction speech similar to those given by relatives or close associates of other honorees:
“It’s frustrating because the induction is for my father and for the other players, but then to not be able to speak, it’s painful,” Sydney said. “I just want to give the speech he would have given. It wasn’t going to be about this mess. My speech was solely about him.”
The NFL, obviously, is keen to keep any mention of CTE or chronic brain injury out of the conversation; while the Pro Football Hall of Fame is an independent entity, the NFL is its biggest patron and the induction ceremony is an NFL Network production. The Hall of Fame executive director told the Times that “Our mission is to honor the heroes of the game and Junior is a hero of the game. We’re going to celebrate his life, not the death and other issues.”
Seau’s family rejected a concussion settlement with the NFL last year.
Photo credit: Denis Poroy/Associated Press