Hall announces Sydney Seau to speak in interview after bust unveiling

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Sunday, August 2, 2015

CANTON, Ohio -- The Pro Football Hall of Fame will allow the daughter of the late Junior Seau to speak in an interview after his bust is unveiled next weekend.

"Sydney will be given a chance to share thoughts about her father immediately following the unveiling of his bronzed bust," the Hall of Fame said Saturday in a statement. "The unveiling, which typically features just the presenter and enshrinee, will include Sydney and Junior's three sons. Her remarks will be live and onstage, in a fashion similar to interviews of returning Hall of Famers."

The Hall of Fame also said Sydney Seau will represent her father and be interviewed during the Thursday night Enshrinees' Gold Jacket Dinner, which will be broadcast by the NFL Network.

"Our goal is to maintain our policy regarding enshrinement speeches but also show compassion and understanding," Hall of Fame president David Baker said.

Hall policy does not allow live speeches during a posthumous induction.

The policy stirred controversy in Junior Seau's case, which is especially sensitive due to his 2012 suicide at age 43. After his death, he was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a neurodegenerative disease due to repeated head trauma that has been found in the brains of dozens of deceased NFL players.

"It's frustrating because the induction is for my father and for the other players, but then to not be able to speak, it's painful," Sydney Seau had previously told The New York Times. "I just want to give the speech he would have given. It wasn't going to be about this mess. My speech was solely about him."

On July 25, a Hall of Fame source told ESPN's Jim Trotter the Hall planned to give Sydney Seau the speaking opportunities as a surprise shortly before she arrived in Canton, Ohio, for the induction events.

ESPN's Jim Trotter and Eric D. Williams and The Associated Press contributed to this report.