The Pro Football Hall of Fame has had a change of heart. Sydney Seau, the daughter of late San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau, will in fact be allowed to speak on behalf of her father at the 2015 induction on August 8.
The Hall of Fame was not going to let Junior's family talk at the ceremony, citing a policy it put in place in 2011 that individuals elected to the HOF posthumously would have a longer video presentation but no live speakers. They say it was designed to shorten an already long event.
However, they never anticipated an icon who passed away in the prime of his life would be in this situation. So, instead of allowing Sydney to give a formal speech, she will be interviewed on stage after all the Seau children unveil Junior's bronze bust. The six and a half minute video presentation about Junior's life and career will still be seen in its entirety.
In an interview with Fox Sports, Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker explained why they made the decision.
"Our goal was to try and keep our policy but also show some compassion and understanding," Baker said. "(Sydney) will have the opportunity to say whatever she wants to say but we will still maintain our policy."
The NFL and the HOF feared Sydney would use her platform as an arena to discuss traumatic brain injury, something the Seau family (which is involved in a lawsuit against the National Football League) has been outspoken about. Sydney has said multiple times she has no plans to politicize this event. She plans to simply honor her father.
Thankfully she will have the opportunity to do just that.