Terrell Owens was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last year, but he has yet to take a trip to Canton.
For the second straight year, Terrell Owens skipped the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
In the lead up to the event, which he skipped last year in favor of his own personal ceremony, Owens spoke with Arash Markazi of the Los Angeles Times and explained how he's "not ready yet" to visit Canton, Ohio, and how, "There's nothing they can do. The damage has been done."
Owens didn't make the Hall of Fame until his third year on the ballot despite having arguably the second greatest statistical output for a wide receiver in NFL history. When he retired, he was second all-time in receiving yards and touchdowns, trailing only Jerry Rice. He now sits at third in those stats as Rany Moss (touchdowns) and Larry Fitzgerald (yards) have passed him in the record books.
"The first year comes and goes and I tried not to take it personally," Owens told The Times. "My stats were what they were and weren't going to change. The second year comes up and Marvin Harrison gets in and I don’t when my statistics are better than his. Now it’s a slap in the face. You’re now denying me what I’ve rightfully earned. You’re disrespecting me and everything I’ve done in my career. You’re denying me something I deserve for your personal opinion and that’s what went into doing my own thing. You’re not going to tell me twice I’m not worthy of what I was worthy of from the start and tell me what to do."
Owens described his two snubs during his first years on the ballot as being spat on. He also explained that he wasn't going to watch this year's ceremony even on television.
"I will go at some point with my kids and family," Owens told The Times. "I don't know when. I'm not ready yet. There's nothing they can do. The damage has been done. They can apologize, but that's not going to change anything. Everyone knows I should have been in on the first ballot. They disrespected me, my family and my kids. I'll go one day, but I'll go when I’m ready."
In addition to commenting on the politics that kept him out of the Hall of Fame for two years, Owens also discussed some of the bigger issues in the NFL currently and how players might be able to make a change going forward.
"The game is so political," Owens told The Times. "It's so clear that the owners feel like they own the players and they'll never give them what they deserve. They have these players thinking they need the owners to survive when it's the other way around. The NFL wouldn't be the NFL without the players. Once the players figure that out and stick together, the owners are going to be up [a] creek without a paddle. Look at the NBA, MLB and NHL with their guaranteed contracts, but these players have to sacrifice and be willing to stand their ground to get what they deserve and they haven't done that yet."
During his 15-year career, Owens spent time with the 49ers, Eagles, Cowboys, Bills and Bengals. He finished with five All-Pro nods, 1,708 receptions (eighth all-time), 15,934 yards and 153 touchdowns.