There is a rising chorus of voices calling for the Pro Football Hall of Fame to change its policy on disallowing rings and jackets to families of people inducted into the Hall posthumously. Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio called on the Hall to “do the right thing” for Ken Stabler’s family, and now owner Mark Davis has joined him.
The current Raiders owner pleaded for fairness, speaking with Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.
“No way I should have my dad’s ring and Bruce Allen doesn’t have his dad’s,” Davis said, referring to Al Davis (who was inducted during his lifetime) and George Allen (who was inducted posthumously). “No way I should have my dad’s ring and Junior Seau’s family doesn’t have his. Same with Dick Stanfel’s family, and Kenny [Stabler’s] family. The guys earned it and their families should get to enjoy it. This is an injustice that has to be rectified.”
Gutierrez also shared the Hall’s explanation to Stabler’s girlfriend, Kim Ross-Bush, as explained to him by Kendra Stabler-Moyes.
“She was told the Hall did not want families fighting over it or selling it,” Stabler-Moyes said. “That is the biggest cop-out — a poor excuse. It’s nobody’s business what families do behind closed doors.”
At this point, it seems the Hall of Fame stands alone thinking that withholding these precious items from families of deceased members is the right thing to do. Furthermore, to assume that families will fight over the items and/or try to sell them is just an insult.
As a final point to add into the argument that Stabler’s family should have the ring and jacket associated with his induction, we must point out that “The Snake” should have been inducted well before he finally was, posthumously. But for reasons that have long escaped this scribe, he was kept out of the Hall of Fame until after the time of his passing.
The Hall of Fame absolutely must adjust its policy. To keep families from owning the items associated with a monumental achievement based on assumptions that might never prove to be true is a bad look and completely unacceptable.