Mark Davis continues to be an advocate for posthumous Pro Football Hall of Fame recognition.
The Hall of Fame awarded a gold jacket and ring to the family of late Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, who passed away after his election but before his induction, in a move the Raiders owner commended as he expressed excitement about the precedent.
“David Baker and the Hall of Fame made the right decision, and I believe it opens the door to reconsidering awarding rings and jackets to the families of all deceased enshrinees,” Davis told ESPN.com on Tuesday. “It opens the door to making it right for other families, like Junior Seau’s and Kenny Stabler’s.
“There’s no reason I should have my father’s ring and Bruce Allen does not have his. As a new member of the NFL owners Hall of Fame Committee, I’ll continue to advocate for the families.”
The Hall of Fame reversed its previous policy of not awarding jackets and rings to families of members selected posthumously, with spokesman Pete Fierle confirming to Denver’s 9News.com that the “process” to create Bowlen’s jacket and ring were already “underway” when he died June 13.
It’s not the first change to be made ahead of the NFL’s 100th season, as the Hall of Fame tentatively approved a class of 20 inductees for next year earlier this week. The maximum number of inductees each year currently sits at eight.
The eight men set to be inducted in the 2019 class in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 3 in addition to Bowlen are cornerback Champ Bailey, personnel executive Gil Brandt, tight end Tony Gonzalez, cornerback Ty Law, safety Ed Reed, safety Johnny Robinson, and center Kevin Mawae.