Steelers Legend Won’t Attend Induction: ‘I Do Not Want to Be a Distraction’

Louis Lipps

Rick Stewart/Getty Images Wide receiver Louis Lipps ( #83) of the Pittsburgh Steelers carries the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals at Three Rivers Stadium on October 8, 1989.

On Wednesday, November 10, Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that former Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowler Louis Lipps, will not be in attendance for the team’s Hall of Honor ceremonies at Heinz Field in Week 10.

Lipps, 59, is part of the Hall of Honor Class that was named in July 2021, a class that also includes offensive tackle Jon Kolb, safety/cornerback Carnell Lake and late offensive tackle Tunch Ilkin, who died in September 2021 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

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Lipps Arrested on DUI Charges on November 6

According to a police complaint obtained by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Lipps was charged with driving under the influence on Saturday, November 6, after Pittsburgh police said he crashed his pickup truck into a parked trailer.

The complaint also revealed that Lipps “had trouble speaking and standing at the crash scene” and “had a blood alcohol level of 0.235%, nearly three times the legal limit to drive of 0.08%,” the outlet wrote.

“I understand the significance of my actions this past weekend, and I want to apologize and take responsibility for what occurred,” Lipps said in a statement released by the Steelers, making reference to his DUI arrest over the weekend. “I have spoken with (team president) Art Rooney II and informed him that I will not attend the Steelers’ Hall of Honor ceremonies this weekend.

“While I am flattered, humbled and honored to be included for recognition along with the other former players who are also deserving of this special weekend, I do not want to be a distraction,” he added. “I am committed to working through the consequences of what transpired and will continue to be an active part of this community and the Steelers’ alumni.”

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Lipps Was Pittsburgh’s First-Round Pick in 1984

Louis Lipps played nearly his entire NFL career for the Steelers after the team made him its first-round pick in the 1984 NFL draft, selecting him No. 23 overall out of Southern Mississippi.

Per Pro Football Reference, he played in 108 games for the Steelers between 1984-91, with 98 starts. During that period, the two-time Team MVP caught 358 passes for 6,018 yards with 39 touchdowns, plus 29 rushes for 388 yards and another four touchdowns. He was also an exceptional punt returner, with 112 career returns for 1,234 yards and three touchdowns, all three of which came during his first two seasons in the league, the two years in which he was named to the Pro Bowl.

After leaving the Steelers he joined the New Orleans Saints, for whom he played the final two games of his NFL career in 1992.

In a statement, Rooney said the Steelers “appreciate Louis’ willingness to take responsibility for what transpired last weekend” and that the organization “will move forward with Louis’ induction into the Hall of Honor at the appropriate time in the future.”

The Steelers will formally induct the Class of 2021, along with the Class of 2020, on November 13 and 14 when the team hosts the Detroit Lions. There are five players in the Hall of Honor Class of 2020: Defensive end Dwight White, safety Mike Wagner, linebacker James Farrior, linebacker Greg Lloyd and safety Troy Polamalu.

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