Terrell Owens Questions HOF Voting Process After Calvin Johnson's Induction

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2021

Former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens before an NFL football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

Wide receiver Terrell Owens was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018 but still has no plans on visiting the museum in Canton, Ohio.

He pointed to the recent selection of Calvin Johnson as more evidence supporting his position.

"This past weekend was a further indication of why I wouldn't go," he said, per Bob Glauber of Newsday. "No disrespect to anybody that got in, but I just don't understand the process. Calvin Johnson got in [on the first ballot]. This has nothing to do with Calvin himself. The guy was a beast. But there's no justification when you have [receivers Torry Holt and Reggie Wayne on this year's ballot] that have done equal or greater things."

Owens played for the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals during his impressive career that lasted from 1996 through 2010.

There is no question that Owens is one of the best wide receivers of all time and was a surefire Hall of Fame player as a six-time Pro Bowler and five-time First Team All-Pro selection who is third on the NFL's all-time list for receiving touchdowns, third for receiving yards and eighth for receptions.

However, he wasn't inducted into the Hall of Fame during his first two years of eligibility and had contentious relationships with some teammates and media members.

Glauber, though, detailed a story about former NFL reporter Terez Paylor, who died Tuesday, explaining to a group of reporters how important Owens was to a younger generation of football fans. That speech helped get Owens inducted during his third year of eligibility.

Johnson, by contrast, was selected to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. It should be noted that Owens is upset that certain wide receivers have not been inducted rather than upset that Johnson was selected, although the Detroit Lions legend did not play long enough to reach T.O.'s numbers.

Johnson was a six-time Pro Bowler and three-time First Team All-Pro selection who led the league in receiving yards twice, but he retired in a surprise move after just nine seasons following the 2015 campaign.

As a result, he is 23rd on the all-time list of receiving touchdowns, 32nd in receiving yards and 47th in receptions.

Those may be first-ballot Hall of Fame numbers, but they don't match Owens' production.