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    “What Did I Do Wrong?” – Antonio Gates Questions Shocking Hall of Fame Snub

    Less than 24 hours after being snubbed by the Hall of Fame, former Chargers TE Antonio Gates spoke exclusively to Pro Football Network about what happened.

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    LAS VEGAS — Antonio Gates is widely considered one of the NFL‘s greatest tight ends and was fully expected to be selected a first-ballot Hall of Famer during Thursday night’s NFL Honors ceremony.

    Instead, the former Los Angeles Chargers TE was surprisingly snubbed. Gates wasn’t chosen as part of the five-man modern era and will have to wait until at least 2025 to secure his gold jacket.

    On Friday, less than 24 hours after the shocking Hall of Fame results were announced, Gates spoke with Pro Football Network about what happened.

    Antonio Gates Discusses Hall of Fame Snub

    “For me, it was just about, ‘What did I do wrong?'”, Gates told PFN on Friday morning at Radio Row in Las Vegas. “You know, I think naturally that’s what you come up with as a human being.

    “I think about my career and how I started. I think about my degree of difficulty coming from a basketball background. I think about the guys too that helped me along the way and how we all felt like we made an ultimate sacrifice.”

    Gates scored more touchdowns (116) than any tight end in NFL history and ranks third all-time among TEs in receptions (955) and yards (11,841).

    “When I got the news, I was very hurt because it’s one of those things … I guess it’s like getting to the Super Bowl and losing,” Gates said. “You get so close, and you’re at the door, and you don’t get in. And I think that’s the hurt part.

    “And for me, I’ve seen a lot of guys play this game and make it and have success. But I feel like my degree of difficulty is like my life in terms of my history, my basketball history, free agent history to a starter as a rookie.”

    Gates, undoubtedly one of the best undrafted free agents in NFL history, helped redefine the tight end position with the Chargers over 16 seasons. He topped 700 receiving yards in eight campaigns, scoring double-digit touchdowns four times.

    “It took me a couple of days to recover from the letdown. Obviously, I knew before everyone else knew it. But I think that the biggest thing as a human being, as a professional athlete, is that you don’t let one thing determine your (worth).

    “You don’t let one thing define you. And I won’t let that one thing just all of a sudden define my whole journey, my whole career, my whole life. This adversity — you go through it, and it makes you stronger and gets to show you true character.”

    Gates will have another shot at Canton 2025. But his opportunity to become a first-ballot Hall of Famer has — shockingly — passed.

    MORE: Former Bengals Great Willie Anderson Falls Short of Hall of Fame Class of 2024

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