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Steve McMichael, Bears great headed to Hall of Fame, won’t attend induction ceremony in August

CHICAGO — Chicago Bears legend Steve McMichael will not make the trip to Canton, Ohio, later this summer for his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony, according to his longtime publicist, Betsy Shepherd. McMichael in 2020 was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and, in the best interest of his health, a decision has been made for him not to travel.

McMichael, 66, is part of a seven-member class for the Hall of Fame, which includes former Bears Devin Hester and Julius Peppers. McMichael was voted in as a Hall of Famer in February after receiving recommendation from the Hall’s senior committee.

“In the NFL world we’ve known he should have been in the Hall of Fame a long time ago,” McMichael’s wife, Misty, told reporters at the NFL Honors event in February. “But I wanted the whole word to know. And now, finally, the whole world knows. Forever and ever.”

The Bears will play the Houston Texans in the Hall of Fame Game Aug. 1 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. The enshrinement ceremony will be held two days later. According to Shepherd, the Hall of Fame is making plans to present McMichael with his honor at his home in Homer Glen.

Earlier this week, it was announced that Jarrett Payton would present McMichael for the Hall of Fame. Jarrett’s father, Walter, was McMichael’s teammate for seven seasons, including in 1985 when the team made its iconic run win Super Bowl XX.

At age 12 in 1993, Jarrett Payton presented his father to the Hall of Fame. McMichael was also Jarrett Payton’s coach in 2010 for the Chicago Slaughter in the Indoor Football League.

Hester will be presented for enshrinement by his mother, Juanita Brown. Peppers chose longtime mentor and agent Carl Carey as his presenter.

McMichael, 66, has been in a yearslong battle with ALS, a debilitating affliction. He has lost his ability to move or speak.

During McMichael’s 13 seasons with the Bears he recorded 92 1/2 sacks and was an instrumental part of a run in which the team won five consecutive NFC Central championships from 1984-88, winning 62 regular-season games during that stretch. McMichael also set a Bears record playing in 191 regular-season games, a mark later matched by Olin Kreutz and topped by Patrick Mannelly (245).