Bo Jackson Becomes Emotional Discussing Induction Into Royals Hall of Fame

Bo Jackson, a former Pro Bowl running back in the NFL and All-Star in MLB, was inducted into the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame on Saturday. Jackson’s entrance into Kauffman Stadium, prior to the club’s contest against the Cleveland Guardians, was nothing short of royal, as he rode into the ballpark in a corvette to a loud ovation from the Kansas City faithful.

Then, with Royals legends, such as baseball Hall of Famer George Brett, in attendance, it was time for Jackson to slip on the Royals Hall of Fame jacket and step up to the podium.

Jackson credited past teammates on the Royals before turning his attention to the fans at Kauffman Stadium, calling them the “rock of the city.”

Bo Knows: “I couldn’t have done what I’ve done without the fans. You all are the rock of this city. You all make this city work. Everybody talks about the Royals and the Chiefs. They are one ingredient in the cake that make this city great. You all are the cake.” #Royals

— Bally Sports Kansas City (@BallySportsKC) June 29, 2024

In a touching moment, Jackson finished by saying to the crowd, “I wouldn’t be me without you,” as fans rose to their feet for another ovation.

The newest #Royals Hall-of-Famer Bo Jackson: “Thank you Kansas City. I wouldn’t be me without you. God bless.”

— Bally Sports Kansas City (@BallySportsKC) June 29, 2024

But the day was an emotional one for Jackson even before the ceremony, as he stopped by ESPN’s SportsCenter. During an interview with anchor Hannah Storm, Jackson became emotional discussing the Royals’ honor, the end of his sports career and his family.

.@BoJackson was moved on SportsCenter while talking about his induction into the Royals’ Hall of Fame, his NFL career and his family ❤️

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 29, 2024

When asked what it means to be inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame, Jackson said, “Well, it means that I’m not forgotten, in some ways.”

“It also shows me that, the short time I had in Kansas City, the fans and the whole organization still appreciates me. And that gives me solace to always look at Kansas City as a starting space for me after college.”

Jackson, the 1985 Heisman Trophy winner after rushing for 1,786 yards and 17 touchdowns for the Auburn Tigers, was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the first overall pick in the 1986 NFL draft. He stiff-armed the Buccaneers in favor of a baseball career, signing on with the Royals instead.

In 1987, after finishing a season with the Royals that saw him belt 22 home runs and steal 10 bases, Jackson was picked by the then-Oakland Raiders in the seventh round of the NFL draft. He proceeded to tally 690 scrimmage yards in just seven games, finishing second in Rookie of the Year voting.

Jackson became a two-sport superstar of the late ’80s and early ’90s, earning Pro Bowl honors once in the NFL and All-Star honors once in MLB, while also taking home the MVP of the 1989 MLB All-Star game. A hip injury in 1991 ended Jackson’s football career, and all but ended his baseball career.

But rather than take a negative mindset to such a gut-wrenching moment, Jackson instead looks at the career-ending injury as a “stepping stone.”

“I think everybody has a speed bump in their road,” Jackson said. “And you just gotta learn how to … Like I tell everybody ‘Slow down, get over that speed bump and get on down the road.’ ”

“I don’t look back at that date, the end of my sports career … I don’t look back as if it was a tragic day in my life. It was all a stepping stone for me. It wasn’t meant for me to do no more than what I’ve done in sports. Period. And I’ve accepted that. And I’ve moved on. And my life is better for it…”

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