On WEEI as I was driving into work today in between expressions of delight at the unexpected success of the Celtics vs LeBron James and Cleveland I was listening to the hosts express surprise that Matt Light won the fan vote for the Patriots Hall of fame over Richard Seymour and Mike Vrabel.
On Wednesday, the team announced the fans have voted for Light to be the 27th person to be inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame. Light spent his entire 11-year career (2001-11) with the Patriots. The left tackle joins Kevin Faulk (2016), Troy Brown (2012) and Tedy Bruschi (2013) as the fourth player to enter The Hall as a career Patriot with three Super Bowl rings.
Light beat out Mike Vrabel and Richard Seymour.
“For 11 seasons, Matt’s many accomplishments, both on and off the field, made him the consummate Patriot,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft in a statement. “His contributions helped the Patriots become champions on the field and in the community. For more than a decade, Matt fearlessly protected Tom Brady’s blind side and played an immeasurably important role in delivering three Super Bowl titles and five conference championships. As proud as I am of Matt’s many contributions to those championship teams, I truly believe that his lasting legacy will be measured by the many positive things he and his wife, Susie, have done to help others in the community. Their investment in the lives of children will pay dividends for generations to come.”
Light’s induction ceremony will be held on the NRG Plaza outside The Hall at Patriot Place on Saturday, Sept. 29.
Both Seymour and Vrabel would have been more than worthy choices as they made huge contributions to the team as players and one could argue that despite Light’s longer tenure on the team that either one of the would have been expected to beat Light in fan balloting, particularly given that they both played in higher visibility positions and had been on the ballot in years past.
But there is one thing that Matt Light did that neither Vrabel or Seymour did: When the New England Patriots did this last year
Light spoke up very publicly saying this:
The former Patriots offensive lineman took issue with nearly 20 players taking a knee during the national anthem ahead of the team’s win over the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium. Light went so far as to say he was “ashamed” to be a former Patriot. “If you think it’s OK to take a knee during our national anthem and disrespect openly the national anthem,” Light told the Boston Herald, “you are wrong. I don’t care if you have a ‘but what about’ or a ‘it’s because of,’ that doesn’t matter.” Light also said something like that wouldn’t have happened during his time with the club. “As a guy that’s been there and helped set up the Patriot Way so they can walk in there and do what they do, it’s beyond disheartening. It’s the first time I’ve ever been ashamed to be a Patriot. And I promise you I’m not the only one.”
As I recall Light took a lot of heat on WEEI for doing so but while Boston sports talk hosts didn’t appreciate his objections apparently the fans did and when it came time to vote for the Patriots Hall of Fame, their first choice was a real Patriot.
The fact that, at least while I was listening, the crew at WEEI had no idea why Light would have won over Seymour and Vrabel and the fact that these guys didn’t instantly realize that this was the difference says a whole lot more about them then it does about Light.
Update: I had a question for the NFL
Hey @nfl & @Patriots any comment on the fact that @PatsNationTM just voted a player #mattlight into their hall of fame that very publicly declared he was ashamed of being a #patriot when his old team for taking a knee during the national anthem last year? https://t.co/xT8R0X0soh
— Peter Ingemi (@DaTechGuyblog) May 17, 2018
While I don’t expect the league or the Patriots to acknowledge the part Light’s unequivocal response to those anthem protests had in his victory you better believe that not only has the league noticed this but every GM & Owner who might be consider signing one of the kneelers has too.
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