ALAMEDA, Calif. -- While Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis is thrilled for the family of late Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, which will receive a ring and gold jacket from the Pro Football Hall of Fame upon his enshrinement next month, Davis is just as excited about what the precedent could mean for families of other deceased members.
"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 Tuesday night. "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."
Davis' father Al was enshrined in 1992 and died in 2011. Allen's father George died in 1990 and was enshrined in 2002.
The Hall of Fame's longstanding policy of not awarding rings and jackets to the families of members selected posthumously came under fire following the inductions of Seau in 2015 and Stabler in 2016.
But Bowlen, who lived many years with Alzheimer's disease, presented a unique circumstance in that he is the first person to die after being selected for the Hall but before being inducted.
Hall of Fame spokesman Pete Fierle told Denver's 9News.com that the "process" to create Bowlen's jacket and ring were already "underway" when he died June 13 and would be "presented to the Pat Bowlen estate to be displayed in the front lobby of the UCHealth Training Center."
The Hall of Fame issued a statement in 2016 saying, in part, that the jackets and rings were to be presented to "living Hall of Fame members to be worn exclusively by them as evidence and pride of their having been elected to sport's most elite fraternity."