Despite having a fractured relationship with the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Terrell Owens has decided to look past the friction to support close friend and former 49ers teammate Bryant Young.
Owens, who famously boycotted his own induction four years ago, said recently he plans to be in attendance for Young’s induction in August. The four-time Pro Bowler and franchise sacks leader spent eight of his 14 seasons in San Francisco with Owens after the receiver arrived as a third-round pick in 1996.
While attending a ceremony on June 1 honoring Young at the Dwight Clark Legacy Series, Owens credited the former defensive tackle as the reason why he decided to attend the festivities in Canton in spite of the ongoing issues.
“He knows my feelings about the Hall of Fame,” Owens said, per NBC Sports. “I wouldn’t be here or even considering going to the Hall of Fame if it weren’t for B.Y.”
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Nearly four years after his enshrinement–and infamous acceptance speech– in 2018, Owens has remained at odds with the organization over the fact that he was shunned by voters in his first two years of eligibility. At the time of his retirement in 2012, Owens ranked second in receiving yards (15,934), third in receiving touchdowns (153) and eighth in receptions (1,078) all-time.
“As far as my relationship with the Hall of Fame, I don’t have one,” Owens explained. “But when it comes to being there for your brothers, obviously, for a teammate like B.Y., the way he showed up every day, just the professionalism, the way he approached his craft, and me seeing [that]. He’s like a gentle giant. He’s quiet, but when the beast needs to come out, you saw it on the field.
“So for me to sit in that locker room and walk into that locker room every day and see how he approached work and just marvel at his professionalism, the way he played, I wouldn’t probably be here. But this is a huge moment. It’s not about me. This is me celebrating my teammate. Prior to that, I probably had no earthly idea when I would probably step foot back in Canton.”
While it remains unlikely Owens will reconcile with the HOF anytime soon, his presence in Canton should certainly garner plenty of attention come August.
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