The Pro Football Hall of Fame came under fire this week over its policy of not awarding rings and gold jackets to the families of enshrinees who are inducted posthumously.
It all started when a fan asked on Twitter when deceased Hall of Fame quarterback Ken Stabler’s ring would be presented. The living members of Stabler’s Hall of Fame Class of 2016 are having rings presented to them in their home stadiums this season.
The real reason the Hall doesn’t present rings and gold jackets to the families is – surprise! – money.
Several Hall of Fame rings and gold jackets have made their way into the collectibles market over the last few years, and have sold at auction for thousands of dollars.
The Hall simply doesn’t want to give the families something of value, even though the Hall of Fame has a benefactor – the NFL – which rakes in billions of dollars every year.
In fact, the Hall even admitted this is the case in a statement it released on Tuesday.
“While the iconic bronzed busts are created to memorialize every member of the Hall of Fame, the Hall of Fame Ring and Gold Jacket are items presented to living Hall of Fame members to be worn exclusively by them as evidence and pride of their having been elected to sport’s most elite fraternity. … The Hall of Fame believes, to the greatest extent possible, it should avoid creating or contributing to family disputes relative to ownership as well as the potential public sale or distribution of items intended for the exclusive use by a Hall of Famer.”
The Hall notes that it does give a framed Hall of Fame crest featured on the gold jacket to the families of players inducted posthumously.
Trivia Time – The Cincinnati Bengals last had a losing season in 2010 with a 4-12 record.
This week’s question – What other NFL great was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame posthumously in 2016?
Reach Steve Stout at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @udcstout