The Pro Football Hall of Fame received criticism for a rule that doesn’t allow family members to speak on behalf of deceased inductees, and Sara White, the widow of legendary Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Reggie White, is upset with another bylaw.
According to Jeff Pearlman, White wants her husband’s Hall of Fame ring for her children. Instead, White—who believes the Hall unfairly treated Junior Seau’s family—says the jewelry sits in a vault in Canton, Ohio.
“I want my children to have his ring. It’s very shallow of the Hall, very rude. I don’t understand how they make that rule up. What’s the purpose of keeping the ring from the family? They gave us a patch and a certificate. I have so many trophies of Reggie—a storage room filled with stuff. But a ring—you can have that with you at all time.”
Pearlman clarified the bizarre rule:
“I checked with the Hall, and if a player is not alive for the ceremony, his family is gifted with neither Hall of Fame jacket nor jewelry.”
From an outside perspective, restricting the distribution of an inductee’s ring and jacket is a travesty. The player, in this case White, clearly earned his place in the Hall, and families should be able to receive the most lasting memory from their loved one’s career.
Hopefully the leadership at the Hall of Fame recognizes this tremendous disservice to White’s family and distributes the rings and jacket. Unfortunately, though, it’s probably not worth holding your breath.