Why Won't Pro Football Hall of Fame Give Ken Stabler's Family a Ring or Jacket?

Ken Stabler died in July 2015. A month later, in the aftermath of his death and raised discussions about his legacy, the Hall of Fame Selection Committee announced him as one of the two Senior nominees. That selections was confirmed the day prior to the Super Bowl, and Stabler was inducted posthumously this summer, with his former coach John Madden presenting him.

Earlier this week, the Pro Football Hall of Fame account tweeted that several Bears greats would be getting their “Ring of Excellence” at halftime of Monday Night’s game. That prompted one fan to inquire when Ken Stabler’s family would be receiving his, and Stabler’s daughter, Kendra Stabler Moyes, responded.

@JimRoss93366948 @ProFootballHOF @ChicagoBears @KayJewelers @ESPNMondayNight sadly, my Dad does not get a ring.

— Kendra Stabler Moyes (@KendraSMoyes) November 3, 2016

She went on to say, that “according to Mr. Baker our family is not deserving.” Mr. Baker is David Baker, the Executive Director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Yes, seriously. No jacket, no ring. My Dad deserves it, dead or alive! He gave so much to the game we all love. https://t.co/bpHRsPcyPD

— Kendra Stabler Moyes (@KendraSMoyes) November 4, 2016

The Hall of Fame got to feel good about putting Stabler in right after his death. But the family gets none of the things that would be passed down by other inductees. This seems particularly troubling in light of Stabler having been diagnosed with CTE. It is the family that has to bear those burdens. Also, with an industry like pro football, is it too much to give a memento to the people that are honored, even if posthumously? My goodness, this seems like accounting without considering reality.