Terrell Owens is a member of Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2018 but he announced Thursday that he won't be in Canton, Ohio, for the enshrinement ceremony, which is scheduled for Aug. 4.
"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 said in a statement. "I have already shared this information with the Hall. 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. At a later date, I will announce where and when I will celebrate my induction."
"I would also like to thank the San Francisco 49ers, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Dallas Cowboys, the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals for the time I was granted with each organization. I am thankful for the relationships forged and the lessons learned while part of each team. I wish to congratulate all past, current and future inductees. It is quite an honor to be part of such elite company. This honor is something that I will cherish forever."
A short time later, Hall of Fame President & CEO David Baker issued this response.
"We are disappointed but will respect Terrell's decision not to participate in the Enshrinement," Baker said. "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."
In addition to Owens, the 2018 class includes Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, Brian Urlacher, Brian Dawkins, Bobby Beathard, Jerry Kramer and Robert Brazile.
Baker added: "As we do not want to detract from this great honor being enjoyed by the seven other members of the Class of 2018, their family, friends, and fans; the Pro Football Hall of Fame will have no further comment on the decision made by Terrell Owens."
Owens is only hurting himself and his family -- taking away from what should be a lifelong memory to make a statement. Please. Go enjoy it. You earned it.— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) June 7, 2018
I was one of those out there who always thought Owens should have been an automatic to Canton -- not matter what voters held against him. But this is a bad look.— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) June 7, 2018
Owens, who was passed over for the Hall in 2016 and 2017, has been outspoken about the perceived slight. In February 2017, he said he had "announced that Owens had selected his former wide receivers coach, George Stewart, to be his presenter during the enshrinement ceremony." for the process. As recently as March 2018, the Hall
Owens has since had a change of heart and now he won't be attending at all.