Suspended Saints coach Sean Payton will be allowed to attend the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on Saturday night in Canton, Ohio.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed via email Friday afternoon that Payton, who’s serving a season-long suspension for misleading investigators looking into a bounty scandal the league said members of the team were involved in, asked for permission to attend the ceremony.
Payton wanted to be at the enshrinement festivities in Fawcett Stadium because former Saints tackle William Roaf is among the new inductees.
Also to be honored during the ceremonies on Saturday night is former Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, who has served as a consultant in the Saints’ front office for several years.
Aiello said Payton had to make a request to Ray Anderson, the league’s executive vice president of football operations, to receive approval for the Hall of Fame visit.
Anderson is overseeing Payton’s year-long suspension and is the coach’s liaison with the league office.
“He requested and was granted permission by Ray Anderson of our office to attend the induction ceremonies involving Willie Roaf,” Aiello said in an email. “He can attend the ceremonies and Willie’s private reception. He cannot attend the game or be with the team in football-related settings.”
Payton’s team will play the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday night in the annual Hall of Fame game. The Saints will be on hand for the induction ceremonies and will also take a tour of the Hall on Saturday.
Payton, who’ll sit at Roaf’s table during the induction banquet Friday night, also cannot stay at the Saints’ hotel.