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Best quotes from 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speeches USA News Today

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Best quotes from 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speeches USA News Today

Saturday night’s Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony took more than four and a half hours to complete, but the seven honorees provided some notable highlights.

Here are the standout quotes from every speech:

Kenny Easley

“Folks will look at our busts and start the debate all over again: Who was better, Ronnie Lott or Kenny Easley? So I’m going to settle it now publicly and for good. In the last 30 years, there has been no better thumper, ball-hawking, fiercely competitive or smarter defensive back in the NFL than Ronnie Lott. He was the best. There, it’s settled, and because I said do.” 

“Please allow me this opportunity and this moment for a very serious message for which I feel very strongly about. Black lives do matter, and all lives matter, too. But the carnage affecting young black men today from random violence to police shootings across this nation has to stop. We’ve got to stand up as a country, as black Americans and fight the good fight to protect our youth and our American constitutional right not to die while driving or walking the streets black in America. It has to stop, and we can do it, and the lessons we learn in sports can help.”

Jason Taylor 

“I’m ashamed to say this, but I’m going to say it on national TV in front of all you people as well. After about the fifth day of training camp my rookie year, between the two-a-days, the heat and humidity, Jimmy (Johnson), I went back to my room one night and I called my mom and said, ‘I don’t know if this NFL thing is for me.’ I was that beaten down after five days. She said, ‘well you can come on home and get a job or go to the military, or you can get your butt to bed and go back to practice.’ So, coach, you almost made me quit. But I’m glad I didn’t, and I’m glad you kept pushing me and you forced me to grow and become the player I am, so thank you for that.”

“Dan Snyder, I had a good talk with Dan last night. Thank you for the opportunity to come to Washington. I know i didn’t give you much, two and a half sacks. Stole a lot of money from you, but I appreciate it. Hey, I’m just being honest, all right?”

More: Jason Taylor jokes he ‘stole a lot of money’ from Redskins owner Daniel Snyder

Morten Andersen

I looked around for help. Anyone, anything? Coach [Bob] Wilbur came over and whispered to me, ‘Just kick the (expletive) out of it. And if you don’t, I’m sending you back on the boat.’ Message received. The ball flew high and through those white things, and I looked over at my teammates and I think they liked what they saw.” – on his first high school football practice after arriving from Denmark

On joining the Falcons at age 46: “In early October 2006, I was watching the Falcons play their second regular-season game. Their kicker had a bad day. I turn to my buddy Eric, and say, ‘I’m switching to water … now. Because the phone is going to ring soon.’ I didn’t get much of a reaction from him. ‘I know,’ I said, ‘I know. It hasn’t rang in 20 months.’ Shortly after the game finished the phone did ring.”

Terrell Davis

“When I was 12, my father became ill and until he went to the hospital, I didn’t know how sick he was. He was the original iron man. It didn’t matter how many times he’d been sick or hurt, he’d always bounce back. But not this time. My father died of lupus when he was 41, and obviously my dad never saw me play in the National Football League. Until this day, I’d think about him and wonder, did I gain his respect? Dad, I hope you’re looking down, smiling and uttering the words, ‘Son, I’m proud of you.’ “

“Preparing for today was like preparing for a football game. It has required everything I could possibly give and it has changed my life.”

More: Terrell Davis’ children, father and Pat Bowlen highlight Pro Football Hall of Fame speech

LaDainian Tomlinson

“My name began with the man who owned my great-great-great grandfather. Now it’s proudly carried by me, my children, my extended family. People stop me on the street because they know me as L.T. the football player, but after football, people have begun to recognize me as LaDanian Tomlinson, not simply for what I did as a football player but for who I am as a man. The family legacy that began in such a cruel way has given birth to generations of successful, caring Tomlinsons.”

“I firmly believe that God chose me to help bring two races together under one last name: Tomlinson. I’m of mixed race, and I represent America. My story is America’s story. All our ancestors, unless we’re American Indian, came from another country, another culture. Football is a microcosm of America. All races, religions and creeds living, playing, competing side by side.”

“America is the land of opportunity. Let’s not slam the door on those who look or sound different from us. Rather, let’s open it wide for those who believe in themselves. … I’m being inducted into the Hall of Fame because my athletic ability created an opportunity for me to excel in the sport I love. When we open the door for others to compete, we fulfill the promise of one under, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”

“On America’s team, let’s not choose to be against one another. Let’s choose to be for one another. My great-great-great grandfather had no choice. We have one. I pray we dedicate ourselves to be the best team we can be, working and living together, representing the highest ideals of mankind, leading the way for all nations to follow.”

“One of the most eloquent orators of all time said it best in his farewell address. Paraphrasing and humbly building upon what President Obama said, we all have to try harder, show up, dive in and stay at it. I am asking you to believe in your ability to bring about change. To hold fast in the idea whispered by slaves. ‘Yes, we can.’ “

Jerry Jones

“I wanted someone I knew well. I wanted someone that could get it done to be our coach. I wanted Jimmy Johnson. I said he’d be worth five first-round draft choices or five Heisman Trophy winners. Of course, I sure did get laughed out of town when I said it. It was my first experience as an owner and a general manager – a difficult and very unpopular decision. Jimmy, it was a great decision. You were a great teammate. You were a great partner. Contrary to popular belief, we worked so well together for five years and restored the Cowboys’ credibility with our fans. We were back-to-back; we were driven; we had thick skin; we took all the criticism they could dish out. I thank you.”

On the NFL’s future: “We have challenges. We’re facing them head on. We’re embracing the future. We’re not afraid. The game is too great. It will sustain and thrive for generations to come. God willing, I’m going to try to be right in the middle of it all, stirring it up, making sure we stay on top if we can.”

On Tony Romo: “No quarterback in Cowboys history was asked to carry as much of the load for his team as Tony. He beat all the odds and delivered some of the most remarkable plays and unforgettable performances in our team history.” 

Kurt Warner

“In the ultimate team game, I’m not much for singling guys out because of all of you played a special role in my being here,” Warner said. “But I would like to recognize one teammate who had a more profound impact on me than any other – Trent Green. Our paths crossed in the most incredible of ways, and I acknowledge you could easily be the one standing up here tonight, but the class that you showed while dealing with the toughest of situations is etched in my mind. Your willingness to share your football secrets so I could succeed was incredibly valuable, but the character you displayed and the way you modeled the definition of teammate was priceless. Those lessons followed me the rest of my career. Thanks for sharpening my character with your own.”

“Don’t miss your moments. I believe I stand here tonight because of what I did with the moments I was given. My enshrinement makes the statement that although impact is measured over a career, it is established in the moments, regardless of how many or how few you’re blessed with.”

PHOTOS: Best of Pro Football Hall of Fame inductions

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Best quotes from 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speeches USA News Today

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