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Seau family told no speech at HOF ceremony

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Junior Seau’s Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony next month will not include a speaking part for his daughter Sydney, as planned, and no member of the family will give a speech honoring the late linebacker.

The New York Times reported exclusively Friday afternoon that the Hall of Fame informed the family that Seau’s induction would not be anything like those of the living inductees. Each Hall of Famer is presented by a person close to them — coach, teammate, family member — in what typically becomes a moving tribute to the achievement and the player, coach or contributor being honored.

“It’s frustrating,” Sydney told the Times. “The induction is for my father and for the other players, but then to not be able to speak, it’s painful. 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.”

Hall of Fame spokesperson Joe Horrigan said in the Times that the circumstances surrounding Seau’s death — a shocking suicide in his home — and family suggestions that concussions played a role had nothing to do with the format.

Seau will be presented as a lengthy video tribute plays. His daughter, Sydney, whom Seau asked introduce him before his death, will speak in the video put together by NFL Network.

Hall of Fame executive director David Baker said his mission is to honor Seau as a hero.

“Junior is a hero of the game. We’re going to celebrate his life, not the death and other issues,” he told the Times.


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