With the induction of Ken Stabler into the NFL Hall of Fame, the Raider Nation felt as though a wrong had finally been righted.
Ken Stabler, affectionately known as “The Snake” is a well-loved, legendary figure within Raiders fandom. In what many saw as a major snub, Stabler had essentially been blackballed from the Hall of Fame.
Stabler, a quarterback who led the Raiders to their first Super Bowl, led a very wild off-field life that saw him in the papers multiple times due to his excessive drinking.
It is widely thought that these off-field antics are what held one of the NFL’s most successful quarterbacks from the Hall of Fame.
After passing away at the age of 69 due to Colon cancer last year, efforts to get Stabler inducted into the Hall of Fame ramped up and finally succeeded, with Stabler being inducted on February 6, 2016.
While it was long overdue, and wrong in some ways, it was definitely deserved and served to be a final piece of closure for the Stabler family.
Now seven months later, controversy surrounds Stabler once again.
In a decision which has rightfully upset many, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has refused to bestow the traditional golden jacket and Hall of Fame ring — two things given to inductees at the Hall of Fame ceremonies — upon the Stabler family.
While the Hall of Fame maintains that deceased inductees aren’t given the ring and jacket, its is a controversial practice that has continually come under fire.
As word got out from the Stabler family regarding the snub, outrage ensued.
Current Oakland Raider head coach Jack Del Rio is the latest in a long line of people voicing their displeasure regarding the Hall of Fame’s decision to withhold the artifacts from the Stabler family.
— Jack Del Rio (@coachdelrio) November 4, 2016
Perhaps the pressure from outside forces will make it possible for the Hall to do the right thing and gives the Stabler family the artifacts.
After the Hall of Fame was contacted by Deadspin for a statement, they sent out a quote that does little to clear things up (emphasis added).
Additionally, every living Hall of Fame member receives a Hall of Fame Gold Jacket and a Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence to wear as symbols of his personal Hall of Fame achievement. The Hall of Fame has never presented either of these two personal items posthumously. The Hall of Fame does present to the family of a posthumously elected Hall of Famer, the Gold Hall of Fame Crest that is featured on the Hall of Fame Gold Jacket. This is done during Enshrinement Week at the Hall of Fame Gold Jacket Dinner when the other Class members are presented their Gold Jackets.
One can only hope the Hall of Fame finally does the right thing here.