“My favorite quote’s by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” Terrell Owens asserted during his Hall of Fame speech, which he delivered at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. “It says, ‘the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.'”
It was an ironic choice from a wide receiver who, during his stellar career and even in retirement, has seemed most comfortable when he was courting controversy. Owens’ decision to exile himself from the ceremony at Canton in favor of a celebration on the campus of his alma mater was unprecedented. Then again, Owens is a man so accustomed to burning bridges that he probably doesn’t mind living on an island.
A cynic would label the entire spectacle a publicity stunt, one last dash by Owens to seize a rapidly dimming spotlight. But Owens didn’t see it that way. You see, T.O’s quest was righteous, a principled stand against a flawed process. Just ask T.O. –
“There has been a lot of speculation and false reports as to why I chose not to be there. I would like to set the record straight. It’s not because [of] how many times it took for me to be voted into the Hall,” Owens explained, before revealing that his delayed induction was precisely the reason why he skipped the event.