ESPN's Jim Trotter said he was extremely uncomfortable during voters' discussion of Terrell Owen's candidacy.
ESPN's Jim Trotter said Hall of Fame voters' opposition to Terrell Owens felt personal.
Speaking on Richard Deitsch's podcast, Trotter said he's never felt so uncomfortable as a member of the Hall of Fame's Selection Committee as when voters were discussing Owens' candidacy.
“But I’ll say this: In my 11 years on the Committee I will say that that’s the most uncomfortable I’ve ever been in a room, listening to the debate on Terrell Owens," Trotter said. "And I went to one of the Hall officials during a break and I told him that. I said, ‘I’ve never felt this uncomfortable about a guy being debated in this room.’ Because it did. It felt personal to me. It may not have been — I’m not saying it was personal — I’m saying it felt personal to me, and that was very disturbing to me.
"Will he get in? I believe he will get in at some point. But that’s what’s so ridiculous to me, to be frank, Richard, because don’t tell me that you’re going to make him wait two, three years, five years, whatever it is, simply because you felt he was a bad teammate, but he’ll get in, you’ll vote for him at some point. If you’re not willing to vote for him now you shouldn’t be willing to vote for him in five years.
"He should be judged simply on his merits, in my opinion, and I’m not one of those people who believe in sending messages.”
Owens was not selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the second consecutive year despite being second all-time in receiving yards, third in receiving touchdowns and eighth in receptions.
Owens' Hall of Fame prospects have been complicated by his often disruptive off-the-field behavior.