Report: Seau family not allowed to speak at Hall induction

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Junior Seau's daughter says she just wants to give the speech her father would have given on Aug. 8 when the former San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and Patriots linebacker is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

The Hall of Fame apparently isn't going to let her. Sydney Seau is listed as a presenter for her late father by the Hall for the induction ceremony, but the New York Times reports that only a five-minute video about Seau’s playing career, featuring an interview with Sydney, that makes no mention of his 2012 suicide, concussion problems or posthumous diagnosis of CTE, will be shown. Sydney Seau told the Times that she wasn’t planning on making that a focus of her speech either.

Seau's family has filed a wrongful death suit against the NFL over the concussion issue.

“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 told the Times. “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.”

Seau’s widow Gina said she was “very surprised” by the decision, which is made by the Hall and not the NFL, and that the family wouldn’t make it a “platform.” She also agreed that the focus should be on Seau’s accomplishments.

“It’s already difficult enough as it is,” Gina Seau said.

Hall of Fame spokesman Joe Horrigan said the circumstances of Seau’s death or the lawsuit are the reasons Seau's family won't be allowed to speak. He said “it got redundant” in the past when a presenter would repeat much of what was in the video .

Hall of Fame executive director David Baker said it was the Hall’s decision and not the league’s.

“We’re not the N.F.L., but the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Baker said. “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.”

 

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