The Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement weekend will take place next month with barely a mention of one of the 2018 inductees, wide receiver Terrell Owens.
Owens, the NFL’s No. 2 all-time leader in receiving yards, has declined his invitation to attend the Aug. 4 induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio, and instead will deliver his Hall of Fame speech at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he played college football from 1993 to 1995, on the same day.
Hall of Fame executive director Joe Horrigan said Thursday that Owens will not be individually honored during the weekend’s activities. The six-time Pro Bowler will be named when the whole group is announced, and he will be featured in photo images of the class.
But that’s it, Horrigan told the Talk of Fame Sports Network.
“There’s no reason to bring him up as an individual,” Horrigan said. “He’s not here.”
Horrigan added that Owen’s gold jacket, which normally would be presented to him at a dinner the night before the induction ceremony, will be in the mail to the former player the following morning.
Also on Thursday, Owens tweeted a video of the custom-designed shoes he will be sending to his fellow 2018 inductees — Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Jerry Kramer, Ray Lewis, Randy Moss and Brian Urlacher.
Bout to send these to my fellow 2018 HOFers. Thanks to my guy on IG: @inkyourshoes for getting these done for me for my guys! Much love. #HOF @RandyMoss @raylewis @BrianDawkins @BUrlacher54 @JerryKramer64GB #BobbyBeathard #RobertBrazile @ProFootballHOF pic.twitter.com/Y1S7NgzAUG— Terrell Owens (@terrellowens) July 12, 2018
Owens has heavily criticized the voting process that kept him out of the Hall of Fame for his first two years of eligibility. The Hall has called Owens’ boycott of the ceremony an unprecedented move but insists the show will go on without him.
“The focus is on the guys who are here,” Horrigan said.