Officials from the Pro Football Hall of Fame have reversed course and will now allow the daughter of the late Junior Seau to speak live at the former linebacker's Hall of Fame induction next Saturday.
The existing policy of having presenters speak only in a video tribute for inductees, including deceased former players or league executives, has been amended to allow Sydney Seau to speak about her father, an All Pro linebacker for the Chargers, Dolphins and Patriots, at the ceremony.
Seau committed suicide in 2012 at age 43. His brain was donated for medical examination, and it was determined he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative neurological condition that often leads to depression. The condition is traced to repeated head trauma.
The Seau family has sued the NFL, claiming the league did not properly warn Seau of the dangers of head trauma.
"The Pro Football Hall of Fame has added opportunities for Junior Seau's daughter, which typically features just the Presenter and Enshrinee, will include Sydney and Junior's three sons. Her remarks will be live and on-stage in a fashion similar to interviews of returning Hall of Famers featured throughout the Ceremony," the Hall of Fame said in a press release Saturday night.
"Sydney will also represent her father and be interviewed during the Thursday night Enshrinees' Gold Jacket Dinner, broadcast nationally on NFL Network."
"Our goal is to maintain our policy regarding Enshrinement speeches, but also show compassion and understanding," Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker said.
Baker was urged by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to allow Sydney Seau to speak.