Portman, Brown, Manchin, Renacci and Gibbs Renew Push for Pro Football Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act

June 11, 2013
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) and U.S. Congressman Jim Renacci (R-OH-16) joined members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to renew their push for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act in advance of the Hall’s 50th anniversary in September.

Following the press conference, the bicameral group, along with cosponsors Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and U.S. Congressman Bob Gibbs (R-OH-7), are hosting a reception to celebrate the Hall of Fame’s 50th Anniversary and to talk about this legislation.  The Hall of Famers will join the reception after engaging in a series of meetings across the Senate to garner support for the measure.

Members include Floyd Little, RB Denver Broncos (Syracuse University), HOF Class of 2010; Lynn Swann, WR Pittsburgh Steelers (University of Southern California), HOF Class of 2001; Kellen Winslow, Sr., TE San Diego Chargers (University of Missouri), HOF Class of 1995; and Steve Largent, WR Seattle Seahawks (University of Tulsa), HOF Class of 1995.  Former Virginia Governor and Senator George Allen will also be on hand to represent his father, George Allen, Hall of Fame coach of the Los Angeles Rams and Washington Redskins, HOF Class of 2002.

In February 2013, Portman and Manchin introduced bipartisan legislation in the Senate authorizing the U.S. Mint to create a commemorative coin in recognition of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.  In April, Renacci and Gibbs, along with 12 other members of the Ohio Congressional delegation, introduced corresponding legislation in the House of Representatives.

“Canton, Ohio is the birthplace of professional football.  And anybody who's visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, with its instantly recognizable shape and iconic Fawcett Stadium, leaves with a fond memory and a better sense of where the positive values of America's most valuable sport came from," said Portman.  “Values like teamwork, integrity, and determination are distinctly Ohioan and are promoted by the Hall of Fame.  This bipartisan legislation commemorates this important work and will help set the Hall of Fame on course for the next 50 years.”

“The Pro Football Hall of Fame is not only the pride of Canton, but another example of Ohio’s strong inventive history,” said Brown.  “The Hall of Fame represents the highest level of achievement in our country’s most popular sport and for the 23 Browns and Bengals who grace its halls.  A commemorative coin is the appropriate way to recognize the jobs, economic impact, and honor the Hall of Fame has brought to Canton, Northeast Ohio, and our state.”

“The Pro Football Hall of Fame is very special to West Virginians,” said Manchin.  “We have six Hall of Famers from our little state, including two who came from my very own hometown of Farmington.  What you don’t hear about these Hall of Famers is that they contribute more than just what they have achieved on the field.  They gave hope and inspiration to every kid who watched them on and off the field.  Sports can give so much back to our communities, and this coin will help us support the legacy that the Hall of Fame preserves.  The Pro Football Hall of Fame truly shows us that if you have a little bit of God-given talent and you have the determination to succeed, you can be anything that you want to be no matter what size town you come from.”

“After successfully spearheading the effort to get the Pro Football Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act through the House last year, I look forward to working with Senator Portman, Congressman Gibbs and the Hall to get the bill across the goal line and into the record books,” said Renacci.  “Once passed, the Hall will be able to use the proceeds from this no-cost legislation to further their philanthropic ventures and to continue their quest to preserve America’s most popular sport.”

“I am proud to join my colleagues, Senator Portman and Congressman Renacci, in support of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act,” said Gibbs.  “The Hall of Fame, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in September, is a central landmark within Ohio’s 7th District, and I am pleased to recognize the tradition and longtime contribution professional football has made to American culture.  The commemorative coin will help fund programs to support the Hall of Fame’s efforts to preserve this important facet of American history.”

“The Pro Football Hall of Fame preserves football history and features the great legends of the game, including their motivational, real life stories,” said former Senator George Allen. “The Pro Football Hall of Fame is a museum of American history that passes to future generations the timeless values of football: success is earned from hard work, teamwork, preparation and accountability.”

“The Hall of Fame stands proudly in Canton, Ohio as a shining tribute to the men who have made professional football America’s most popular sport,” said George Veras, President and CEO of Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises.  “As the Hall nears its 50th Anniversary in September, we are grateful that Senators Portman, Brown, and Manchin, Congressmen Renacci and Gibbs, and their colleagues have taken up this legislation to honor the legacy of the Hall, and promote the rich history and positive values of the game of professional football.”

The Pro Football Hall of Fame represents the best in professional football by honoring the individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the sport, preserving the history of the game, and promoting the positive values of the sport.  Canton, Ohio is the proud birthplace of pro football, as the American Professional Football League, which later became the NFL, was founded there in 1920.  The Buckeye State claims 23 Hall of Famers who played for the Bengals and Browns.

Portman and Manchin introduced the Pro Football Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act (S.3077) in the last Congress, along with 13 other Senate cosponsors.  Renacci introduced corresponding legislation in the 112th Congress which passed the House of Representatives in August 2012.