Junior Seau's family will not be allowed to speak at his Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Aug. 8th.
Seau had told this family if he ever made it, he wanted his daughter, Sydney, to introduce him.
The Hall of Fame will only show a video that will commemorate his career, while avoiding questions about his suicide in 2012 and the subsequent diagnosis of traumatic brain injury that doctors said they believed was brought on by hits to his head. Nor will the video mention the lawsuit that Seau’s family has filed against the N.F.L., which is trying to curb injuries in active players and address brain disease in thousands of retired ones.
“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 said. “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 brain injury and suicide have nothing to with the decision to only show a video, according to Joe Horrigan, a spokesman for the Hall of Fame who has overseen the ceremony for about 20 years.
For deceased inductees, presenters spoke but Horrigan said they often repeated what was in the video, prolonging an already lengthy ceremony. So a few years ago, the Hall eliminated speeches in these cases.
“There was an acceptance speech for deceased players but it got redundant,” Horrigan said. “The honor is supposed to be for the individual.”