Terrell Owens has blunt message for HOF voters about character

By Jesse Reed

Terrell Owens has made it clear he feels disrespected by Pro Football Hall of Fame voters who have kept him out the past two years. On Saturday, ahead of the announcement for the 2018 Hall of Fame class, Owens is spending his time doing something he feels is more productive than waiting around for another slap in the face.

He’ll be playing basketball in Los Angeles.

“I got two basketball games,” Owens said, per Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram. “They need me.”

That Owens deserves to be in the Hall of Fame is not even a question that needs to be answered. He ranks No. 8 all time in receptions (1,078), No. 2 in receiving yards (15,934) and No. 3 in receiving touchdowns (153). He also had nine 1,000-yard seasons and caught at least 10 touchdown passes in eight seasons, was voted to six Pro Bowl and five First-Team All-Pro squads.

Steve Young also made a salient point on Saturday about how Owens actually changed the game, bolstering his Hall of Fame resume all the more. It’s hardly surprising that Owens feels disrespected that he wasn’t a first-ballot inductee. One of the big reasons he hasn’t been voted in yet is that some voters knock him for his character issues, to which Owens has a pretty blunt response.

“Ray Lewis, he’s a guy that’s up for the Hall of Fame,” Owens pointed out. “You think about some of his off-the-field issues. But they feel like he’s a shoo-in. I feel more disrespect than disappointed. And I’ve always said, too, that when you align your expectations with reality, you’ll never be disappointed. So I think in terms of my body of work and what I’ve done for the game, then that speaks loudly for itself.”

Ouch.

But quite honestly, Owens isn’t wrong here. After all, Ray Lewis was being investigated for murder at one point and ended up pleading guilty for obstruction of justice. Owens — despite having a raw personality — never got into trouble off the field.

So, rather than waiting around for the vote to come in Saturday night, Owens will do something he actually likes, with people who want him there.