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Junior Seau's Daughter Delivers Emotional Speech from Hotel Room, Not Hall of Fame

Sydney Seau fulfills her father's wishes by delivering the heartfelt speech that the NFL didn't want to hear.
August 9, 2015, 4:10pm

The NFL stubbornly stuck with their completely arbitrary five-year rule that family members are not allowed to give acceptance speeches on behalf of players at the Football Hall of Fame. But that didn't stop Sydney Seau from delivering a moving, heartfelt speech to The New York Times (video) from her hotel room in Canton, Ohio—as per her father's wishes.

The NFL was likely guarding itself against the elephant-in-the-room conversation about concussions and brain damage that lies at the center for why Junior Seau wasn't present to deliver his own acceptance speech. The simple fact of the matter is that Junior Seau was diagnosed with an impact-induced brain disease linked to depression and impulsive behavior—only after taking his own life by shooting himself in the chest.

Despite the fact that the Seau family is suing the NFL for wrongful death, Sydney Seau's speech doesn't touch upon brain damage, instead focusing on who Junior Seau was as a person and a father. The speech, which reads more like a eulogy, provided a much-needed balance to what the NFL had planned, a mostly football-focused video to accompany his induction. Sydney Seau's speech proves that the NFL continues to miss the point: their sport has a fatal impact on the people that play it. And those deaths don't always happen on the field.

"I think what we tend to forget about our favorite invincible, unstoppable, undeniable favorite super humans is the minor detail that they are, too, human," Sydney Seau read, a San Diego Chargers lightning bolt and number 55 hanging from her neck. "And that is something that we all must endure today without his physical presence."