Due to fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Hall of Fame festivities and annual class inductions have been postponed until 2021. By then, the 2021 Hall of Fame class should be ready to be inducted and that group could very well include former Pittsburgh Steelers guard Alan Faneca, who has been a finalist each of the last five years. Additionally, it’s quite possible that the 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class could ultimately include late Steelers scout Bill Nunn, thanks in part to recent push he’s been getting this summer.
In a recent tweet that was in response to a post written on Deadspin by Martin Weiss, Jim Trotter, a Hall of Fame voter, noted that Nunn is at the top of his list of deserving persons of color that should be enshrined in Canton, OH as contributors.
“This is an interesting read. It is curious that in the 57-year history of the HOF, no person of color has been voted in as a contributor. Zero. Don’t know the reason but it’s not a lack of deserving candidates. Top of my list is the late, great Bill Nunn,” Jim Trotter tweeted on July 4.
Not too long after Trotter tweeted out what he did, Terez Paylor, Peter King, Vito Stellino and Ed Bouchette, all of whom are also Hall of Fame voters, seemingly showed the same level of support for Nunn in their tweet responses.
Nunn’s qualifications for Hall of Fame enshrinement don’t need constant repeating and especially if you’ve been a reader of this site for a long time. The Steelers 1974 draft and undrafted class, which included five players now enshrined in Canton, is a good starting point as to why the bust of Nunn deserves to join them sooner rather than later. The fact that longtime Dallas Cowboys contributor Gil Brandt is already enshrined in Canton, and deservingly so, and Nunn isn’t, is preposterous on so many levels.
The ‘contributor’ category for the Pro Football Hall of Fame was established in 2015 and was done so for worthy candidates who never played the game professionally. Since the creation of that category, owners, general managers, and commissioners have since been enshrined. The scope, according to voter Clark Judge, should be expanded to include scouts.
Nunn was the Steelers assistant personnel director for 18 years from 1970-87 and then spent the next 17 years as a part-time scout before passing away in 2014 at the age of 89.
“Bill had an extraordinary instinct in identifying talent throughout his career, including the legendary 1974 draft for us,” said the late Steelers owner Dan Rooney, a Hall of Famer himself. “He put us ahead of so many other teams in the NFL by leading the efforts of drafting African-American players at the traditional black colleges. Very few people had a bigger impact in the history of our franchise, and his positive attitude and contributions will truly be missed.”
Nunn was inducted in the inaugural class of the Black College Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Pittsburgh Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011. Will 2021 be the year that he gets voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame? It should be, because every year moving forward that he’s not is a travesty and not just because members need and want diversity.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremonies that will take place in 2021 will hopefully wind up being a dream event for Steelers fans to attend as not only will Troy Polamalu, Bill Cowher and Donnie Shell all be officially inducted that weekend, Faneca and Nunn both should be as well. Keep your fingers crossed that’s what ultimately transpires.