Randy Moss sporting his gold jacket and admiring the bust featuring his signature braids, gave thanks during his Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement speech to all of those who helped him along his journey to becoming one of the Vikings’ — and football’s — all time greats.
Silently, his black tie with the names of several African-Americans who were killed recently in police-involved shootings or high-profile incidents, spoke volumes, as well. Greg Gunn. Tamir Rice. Akai Gurley. Paul O’Neal. Eric Garner. Freddie Gray. Walter Scott. Sandra Bland. Akiel Denkins. Alton Sterling. Michael Brown. Trayvon Martin.
Randy Moss’ tie he wore tonight pic.twitter.com/RreQNkkNmZ
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) August 5, 2018
Moss spoke at length to The Undefeated about his decision to use his Hall of Fame platform to “bring some eyes and some light to the fact that, man, there’s still families really hurting out here. We’re in a crisis right now.” Moss was widely supported — and widely criticized — in all corners. But, he said, the message was more important to him.
“There’s so much going on, you know what I’m talking about, and people need to understand that. Back in February, I told my tailor what I wanted to do. I just wanted some names on my tie. I knew there was going to be some controversy about it, and I didn’t care.” Moss added: “But people losing their lives all the time is not supposed to happen. It’s not what they deserved. What happened, and what happens so many times, is that … it’s just wrong. These people shouldn’t have lost their lives.”
There is substantially more included in the in-depth article in which Moss emphasizes that his intention “was not to divide. We’re divided enough. My intention was to love.” Moss, a first-ballot Hall of Famer, delivered his speech in Canton, Ohio with his mother, Maxine, receiving praise, along with his hometown of Rand, W. Va., late Vikings coach Dennis Green and many others. He spoke for 16 minutes, 52 seconds.
“I already know the question in your head: What am I made of?” Moss said to the 22,205 fans in attendance. “I am a living testimony, a walking testimony, not just to the football fans, but to the whole world. “I knew God put me here to teach and to lead others down the right path. But first I had to learn from my own mistakes. I had to mature, and with all that, I had to stay right with God.”