Terrell Owens declines invitation to Hall of Fame ceremony

Yahoo Sports

Terrell Owens waited a long time — many, including T.O., would say too long — to get enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And now that the big moment is here, Owens has decided he doesn’t want to be a part of the induction ceremony after all.

Owens released a statement on Thursday outlining his stance:

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“While I am incredibly appreciative of this opportunity, I have made the decision to publicly decline my invitation to attend the induction ceremony in Canton,” Owens wrote. “After visiting Canton earlier this year, I came to the realization that I wish to celebrate what will be one of the most memorable days of my life, elsewhere.”

Whew. That’s a pretty sharp rebuke to the Hall right there. Owens took pains to thank the fans, as well as the five teams he played for over the course of his career.

He also congratulated “all past, current and future inductees,” adding that “it is quite an honor to be part of such elite company. This honor is something that I will cherish forever.” Not thanked: the NFL and the Hall itself.

The Hall issued an immediate statement calling Owens’ decision “unprecedented”: “We are disappointed but will respect Terrell’s decision not to participate in the Enshrinement,” Hall of Fame President & CEO David Baker said in a statement. “While unprecedented, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the nearly 5,000 volunteers and the entire community are committed to celebrating the excellence of the Class of 2018 that will kick off the NFL’s 99th season.”

Nothing ever came easy with T.O., one of the greatest receivers in NFL history, so it’s not surprising that the capstone of his career wouldn’t run smoothly either.

Terrell Owens won’t be headed to Canton for his induction ceremony. (Getty Images)
Terrell Owens won’t be headed to Canton for his induction ceremony. (Getty Images)

Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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