After a long wait to get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which unfortunately came posthumously, the family of Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler says they will not receive a ring or a jacket.
A year after his death, Ken “The Snake” Stabler will finally be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. While it’s sad that Stabler could not be alive for his induction, his family can and should be able to accept any tangible recognition of Ken’s accomplishments — say, a Hall of Fame ring or a gold jacket.
But the NFL apparently doesn’t agree.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame will not be providing Stabler’s family with either a ring, nor a jacket. And we had to learn via Twitter, because that is just how 2016 works.
A fan asked about Stabler’s ring.
Stabler’s Daughter saw the question, and responded.
She then posted a follow-up tweet.
And not only that, but the NFL won’t even let the family purchase these items.
A spokesperson of the NFL issued a statement:
"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."
So while the Hall of Fame is sticking with a long-standing policy, it’s a policy that clearly needs to change. Seriously, how in the world can it be justified for these players not to receive the same honors as players that are still alive? Just to save a little bit of money?
Current Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio tweeted his displeasure with the situation.
Mark Davis was also asked about this in a recent phone interview, per ESPN.com.
"“No way I should have my dad’s ring and Bruce Allen doesn’t have his dad’s,” Davis told ESPN.com in a phone interview. “No way I should have my dad’s ring and Junior Seau’s family doesn’t have his. Same with Dick Stanfell’s family, and Kenny’s family. The guys earned it and their families should get to enjoy it. This is an injustice that has to be rectified.”"
The Princess of Darkness and the First Lady of Raider Nation, Amy Trask, also voiced her displeasure.
She followed her own tweet up with another.
And she’s right. These men, albeit knowing the risks that they take to play the game, compromise their health to play. For those worthy of being elected into the Hall of Fame, regardless if they are still alive or not at the time, the NFL/Hall of Fame should honor that player in the same manner.