Richard Seymour has officially entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he made sure to let everybody know that the honor was not just his to enjoy. Instead, he made it quite clear during his induction speech that “this day belongs to my family.”
It started with his introduction, read by his former high school principal and long-time friend of the family, Titus Durden. “I realized he was special and had no doubt he would be successful,” Durden said in his introductory video.
Seymour then took the stage to unveil his bust, and start his speech. And right from the very first sentences on it became clear that he was not focused on himself or his own accomplishments but how those around him supported him to get to this point.
“I’m overwhelmed today with humility not because of what this moment says about me, but what this moment says about ‘we’ and what ‘we’ can do together,” Seymour said.
“I’m overwhelmed today with gratitude because I didn’t get here alone, none of us did. None of us could have. Class of ‘22, they say you can judge a man by the company he keeps, I couldn’t be among better company than you. It’s a privilege to have my name bound forever with yours in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”
Seymour continued his speech by thanking his wife, Tanya, as well as his kids R.J., Kayla, Kennedy and London. “Of everything I accomplished, there’s no greater honor than being your dad,” he told them. He also spoke about the influence his mother and father had in him.
“Football may be what I do, but family is who I am,” he said.
Seymour’s extended family includes his teammates, who he mentioned in his speech as well. Among them were several members of the New England Patriots, who had selected the defensive lineman out of Georgia in the first round of the 2001 draft Willie McGinest, Rodney Harrison, Otis Smith, Ty Law, Anthony Pleasant and Mike Vrabel all served not just as companions but role models for the young player.
Seymour claimed he wanted to play “someplace warm” coming out of college, but that ending up in New England turned out to be “one of the luckiest breaks” of his life.
The Georgia product turned into an immediate difference-maker for the Patriots, helping them win their first Super Bowl during his rookie campaign. Seymour went on to spend his first eight years in the NFL in New England, laying the foundation for what would eventually become a Hall of Fame career.
None of that would have been possible without team owner Robert Kraft, Seymour added.
“You showed us that being consistent in the little things added up to the big things, always with heart and humanity. You set forward the vision and earned success the right way,” Seymour said. “RKK, thank you for being a mentor and a dear friend. You too will grace this stage.”
Seymour also went on to gave a shout-out to Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who drafted him sixth overall in 2001.
“Of course this wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for coach Belichick,” Seymour noted. “The lessons that I’ve learned from you set me up for success not just in the game but in life: work hard; be meticulous in your preparation; support your teammates; respect your opponents; and put the team first.”
Seymour additionally spoke about his time with the Oakland Raiders, who acquired him via trade from the Patriots in 2009 and with whom he spent the last four seasons of his career.
To wrap things up, however, he went back to take a bigger-picture view of what the game meant for his life. He also spoke about the responsibility he and other players have.
“For the last 31 years football — our game — has afforded me possibilities I never could have imagined”, he said. “And with that privilege comes profound responsibility. The responsibility of stewardship. The responsibility to put others first, to take care of the details, to keep learning, to keep giving for the long-term strength of our game.
“Let us commit today and every day to be worthy stewards of our game and its values. In recognition of these values with reverence for those who passed them onto us, with faith in the generations to whom we pass them forward, I accept this honor, the greatest of my life.”
To watch Seymour’s entire induction speech, please click here.