Eight new members were enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Famers (HOF) yesterday in Canton, Ohio.
Randy Moss, Brian Urlacher, Ray Lewis, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Bobby Beathard and Robert Brazile were all honored with their busts and gold jackets at the Hall of Famers.
Terrell Owens was the lone honoree who did not attend the festivities in Canton, as he chose to spend Saturday at his alma mater University of Tennessee Chattanooga in a form of protest against the Hall of Famers voters who he and many others feel snubbed Owens the previous two years he was on the ballot.
Brazile, also known as “Dr. Doom”, kicked off the night with a speech focusing on his career and 29-year-long wait to the Pro Football HOF.
“When they knocked on my door, all of my dreams came true,” Brazile said. After all these years, I’m at home.”
However, 82-year-old Kramer was an honoree who waited even longer than Brazile. The former Green Bay Packer guard had a 45-year wait for induction into the HOF.
It was a long time coming, but Kramer fully delivered with a speech focused on his time with the Packers, dealings with legendary coach Vince Lombardi and a humorous story about contract negotiations back in the 1950s.
Jerry Kramer breaks down contract negotiations from 60 years ago #PFHOF18
— Bleacher Report NFL (@BR_NFL) August 5, 2018
Each recipient gave their own impassioned speech. Urlacher spoke about his love for his family; Beathard gave thanks to the NFL legends who helped him throughout his NFL journey; Dawkins discussed his battle with depression and how he has been able to overcome and defeat the many challenges in life, and Ray Lewis gave a pastor-esque speech about faith and the progress he wants to see in the U.S.
“I wasn’t just suffering through suicidal thoughts, I was actually planning the way that I would kill myself. … But what that pain did for me, it increased my faith exponentially.”
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) August 5, 2018
— NFL (@NFL) August 5, 2018
Moss’ speech surrounded around his love for his home state of West Virginia and how he was able to overcome the obstacles standing in his way. However, his words may not have been as significant as his attire.
The legendary wide receiver wore a tie with the names of 13 African-Americans who have been killed by police and civilians.
Biggest moment of Randy Moss’s career and he wore a tie that honored the victims of police brutality. Legend. pic.twitter.com/HThKjP9s31
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) August 5, 2018
“With great power, comes great responsibility,” Moss said on NFL Network after the enshrinement ceremony. “You ask me about my tie, we all know what’s going on. You see the names on my tie. Being able to use a big platform like the Hall of Fame, what I wanted to be able to express with my tie is to let these families know that they’re not alone.”
The Hall of Fame game, which was played two days before the ceremony between the Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears, kicked off the NFL season. Luckily for fans, there will be a collection of NFL games every week for the rest of the year.