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Attorney claims HOF misled Sydney Seau

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The Pro Football Hall of Fame told the daughter of Junior Seau that she would be allowed to speak at his posthumous induction in Canton, Ohio, according to the family attorney.

A policy established in 2010 by the Hall of Fame limits the ceremony for deceased inductees to a video tribute. All living inductees are introduced by a friend, family member, teammate or associate.

Steve Strauss, the Seau family attorney, told Sports Business Journal that the Hall of Fame reversed field on having Sydney Seau, the daughter of the late Chargers, Dolphins and Patriots linebacker, speak at the induction ceremony.

“Unfortunately, the Hall of Fame is unwilling to reverse its decision despite communicating to the family earlier this year that Sydney would be able to speak at the ceremony,” Strauss said in a statement. “Contrary to the most recent statement by the Hall of Fame, the family does not support the current policy that prevents family members from delivering live remarks on behalf of deceased inductees. However, the Seau family does not want this issue to become a distraction to Junior’s accomplishments and legacy or those of the other inductees. The Seau family never intended to use the Hall of Fame as a platform to discuss the serious mental health issues facing the NFL today which are most appropriately addressed in a legal forum. The Seau family looks forward to celebrating Junior’s extraordinary accomplishments at the Hall of Fame.”

The Hall of Fame said Friday, in response to the New York Times story tracing the decision to not allow Sydney Seau a platform alongside other 2015 inductees, the mission remains to honor the heroes of the game.

“Junior is a hero of the game,” said David Baker, executive director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “We’re going to celebrate his life, not the death and other issues.”

Sydney Seau told the Times she intended only to give the speech her father would have, not delve into the issues and circumstances surrounding his suicide and subsequent study of his brain to determine the extent of damage from head injuries.


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