19 Nov 1995: Defensive end Charles Haley of the Dallas Cowboys in action during the Cowboys 34-21 victory over the Oakland Raiders at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California.
Over the weekend, former Dallas Cowboy Deion Sanders was announced as a member of the 2011 class of inductees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame; but Sanders’ teammate twice over, and five-time Super Bowl champion Charles Haley was once more denied entry to the Hall in Canton.
The denial has not gone without notice, and some controversy. the defensive end has five Super Bowl rings from his time with the San Francisco 49ers and, later, the Cowboys, and was widely viewed as one of the most effective defenders in the game until injuries ground his career to a halt in the late-nineties.
But Haley had a contentious relationship with the media and, sometimes, teammates, and many view this as a great contributing factor in keeping Haley out of the Hall of Fame. Whether that’s right is certainly debatable though, and one of Haley’s former teammates and close friends--and Hall of Famer--Ronnie Lott came out recently in his defense.
"I'm disappointed," Lott said, per ESPN.com. "Here's a guy that has five Super Bowls, the most rings. We are all viewed by being champions and how can a guy with the most championships not be part of the Hall of Fame? It doesn't jive with the average fan, it doesn't jive with the average person. It's not fair. It's just not fair. I'm not taking anything away from those other members, but none of those members have what he has."
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