Goodell: NFL is pleased the Ford family will continue to own the Lions

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The Lions have made a change in ownership, but it remains in the family, which the league office fully supports.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement saying he supports the decision of Martha Firestone Ford to step down as the principal owner of the Lions and hand the team off to her daughter Sheila Ford Hamp.

“Martha Ford has led the Lions with skill and grace for the past six seasons,” Goodell said. “I have appreciated her business insights, her love of the game, her deep commitment to the NFL, and her personal kindness. We are pleased that the Ford family will continue to own and operate this historic franchise. Sheila Hamp has become increasingly involved in team and league affairs over the past several years and we look forward to working with her and the rest of the club’s executive team.”

Martha Ford took over the team when her husband William Clay Ford died in 2014, and he had owned the Lions since 1963 (and was a minority owner even before that). So the franchise has been in the Ford family for well over half a century.

Some Lions fans have complained about the Ford family’s stewardship of the franchise, and as the Lions slumped to a last-place finish in 2019, chants of “Sell the team” could be heard at Ford Field. But Goodell’s statement makes clear that the league office believes the Fords are the right family to own the Lions.

13 responses to “Goodell: NFL is pleased the Ford family will continue to own the Lions

  1. I hope someone in the Ford family can make the much needed changes to finally make the Lions relevant again.

  2. Not a surprise, but really the Ford family has had long enough to produce a winner and it’s just not happening in Detroit. Are Goodell and the owners just happy to have a quite go along ownership group like the Ford family?

  3. This way they can continue to claim they have diversity among owners. In truth, this is an obstacle to diversity and inclusion.

  4. jonathankrobinson424 says:
    June 23, 2020 at 11:20 am
    I hope someone in the Ford family can make the much needed changes to finally make the Lions relevant again.


    Again? When exactly were the Lions “relevant”?

  5. Once again the team will be the football equal to the brand of bland products that its namesake company sells.

  6. If the Lions were on the selling block, how much do you think they are worth? At least $2.5 billion? If so, how many billionaires can afford to purchase the team? How many minorities have that kind of available cash flow? The only way you add diversity to the ownership of the NFL is when a minority can come up with the cash when one of these teams become available. Additionally, most of these teams stay family owned.

  7. As a lifelong Lion fan, and life long Michigan resident I am as critical of the way the team has been run during my lifetime as anyone is.

    I also am after my father and grandfather, the first generation of men in my family to not spend a career working at Ford Motor Company.

    Personally, I also am glad that the team will remain in the families hands.The family still lives here and the team will never be moved as long as they own it.

    Say what you want about the team performance during their ownership, but the Fords are as synonymous with Detroit and Michigan in general as Auto Production and the Great lakes.

    And while the team is NOT owned by Ford Motor Company, FMC is one of the great american companies. Ford is one of last remaining companies to provide a almost exclusively unionized hourly workforce with quality pay and benefits that allow them to raise families and have a middle class life.

    While none of my family members who worked for them were hourly or UAW members as they were in management and accounting positions, I am very proud to be from a Ford Family. FMC is the reason my sister and I were able to grow up comfortable in the Metro Detroit suburbs with access to quality public schools and is the reason my parents were able to provide us with a college education without massive amounts of student debt.

    I hope the team does better, god knows. But I cant imagine it being owned by someone else.

  8. I guess you gotta give the new Ford heir a shot before providing a critique. Then again, the same thing has been said for a couple years now about Patricia after he inherited a 9 win team. . . . .

  9. It’s Sheila Ford’s team now. The question is whether she’s willing to tolerate Patricia & Quinn producing a losing team every season. These are the two geniuses who said they could immediately improve on Jim Caldwell’s 9-7 seasons.

    I still don’t understand why Patricia, whose defense cost the Patriots the Super Bowl, was someone a leading head coaching prospect.

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