Sydney Seau, the daughter of the late Junior Seau, will be allowed to speak at his upcoming Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony, according to Fox Sports.
According to Fox Sports, the Hall of Fame has “added some opportunities that will help Sydney Seau further honor her father as a posthumous selection.” The Hall will allow Sydney to be part of an on-stage interview and has invited her and Seau's three sons to unveil their father's bust on stage. The interview will take place after the unveiling.
"She will have the opportunity to say whatever she wants to say but we will still maintain our [posthumous induction] policy,” Pro Football Hall of Fame president David Baker told Fox Sports. “We want this to be a great day for Sydney and her family. Should she choose not to speak afterward, that should be OK.”
The Hall of Fame was criticized after the New York Times reported that it would not allow Seau's family to speak at his induction ceremony, citing its policy on posthumous enshrinements.
In the past, the Hall of Fame allowed presenters for deceased players but decided in 2011 to no longer allow it after the speeches often repeated what was in the player's video tribute, extending the length of the ceremony.
A six and a half minute video tribute to Seau's career, which includes pre-taped comments from Sydney Seau, will air at the ceremony as planned.
Seau committed suicide in 2012 at age 43, two and a half years after retiring from football. A study of his brain tissue found signs of CTE, and in January 2013 his family sued the NFL, alleging that his suicide was caused by a brain disease developed from years of sustaining hits while playing in the league.
According to The Times, Seau once told his family that if he was ever inducted into the Hall of Fame, he wanted his daughter, Sydney, to introduce him.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony for the 2015 class will be held on Aug. 8.
- Molly Geary