Former NFL Player Darren Sharper Appears In Court : News Photo

CANTON, Ohio (AP) — The inclusion of former NFL safety and convicted rapist Darren Sharper on this year's list of Pro Football Hall of Fame nominees has created a national outcry.

Sharper, a five-time Pro Bowler, pleaded guilty in 2015 to drugging and raping up to 16 women in four states. U.S. District Court Judge Jane Triche Milazzo sentenced him to 18 years in prison last month.

There is no character clause to be eligible for the Hall of Fame, but that has not tempered a debate that has some Twitter members calling for an NFL boycott in the unlikely event Sharper is elected.

To be eligible for the nominating process, a player or coach must be retired for at least five years. Several more cuts remain in the process before finalists are chosen.

Messages and emails left with two Hall of Fame spokesmen were not immediately returned.

More From 1460 ESPN