Calvin Johnson on thanking Lions in his Hall speech: I’ve got nothing to say

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Calvin Johnson’s relationship with the Lions remains strained, five years after his abrupt retirement from the NFL at the age of 30. So it’s not surprising that Johnson indicated he has no plans to mention the team in his 8-minute Hall of Fame speech next month.

“I’m definitely going to bring up a lot of people that I’m thankful for,” Johnson said Friday, via Clark Judge of Talk of Fame Network. “There are so many people during my career that had an impact and those specific people I’m going to try (thank) . . . at least I have them on the ticker. But I’m not going to mention everybody. As far as the Lions, hey, I got nothing to say.”

Barry Sanders didn’t mention the Lions either in his induction speech in 2004. He thanked Lions’ fans, the city of Detroit, his teammates and Wayne Fontes but not the franchise itself.

Sanders and the Lions since have resolved their differences.

The Lions would like to bury the hatchet with Johnson. But after the organization forced Johnson to pay back part of his $16 million signing bonus and refused to relinquish his rights, which would have allowed him to play elsewhere, Johnson isn’t ready to hold hands and sing Kumbaya.

“It’s kind of been a standstill there,” Johnson said. “I’m five years out now. I’m not wasting any time waiting on them.”

Members of the organization, including team president Rod Wood, surely will attend the ceremonies in Canton. Johnson apparently doesn’t have anything to say to any of them personally either.

“I’m sure I’m going to run into him,” Johnson said of Wood. “But you know me: I keep it short. I keep it moving. I go about my business. Put it like this: I’m not going to be seeing my family a whole lot during this whole weekend, so I’m going to be looking forward to seeing them whenever I get a chance to. So If I pass Rod Wood, I’m going to keep moving.”z

11 responses to “Calvin Johnson on thanking Lions in his Hall speech: I’ve got nothing to say

  1. I get that he meant a lot to the franchise. And he absolutely was within his rights to decide to retire when he no longer wanted to play for the Lions. But he still had years remaining on his contract, and the Lions were well within their rights to not release him, and to force him to repay money he received in advance for services he didn’t provide. Its unfortunate that it worked out this way, but he shouldn’t be upset when the Lions exercised their contractual rights, when he decided to retire. Next time, sign a shorter contract.

  2. Its like letting someone out of a lease early, or something similar. If I have a long term tenant who asked me to do it, I would out of respect even though I have the power not to. With your superstars, you bend a little bit. Thats why the Lions are a clown organization. Run by penny pinchers and posers who have no clue.

  3. I cant back this – he wasnt complaining when he signed that 2020 sized WR contract in 2012. 7 years, $113M @ $16.2M per.

  4. He had a chance to leave Detroit, but instead he signed a 7 year contract. His whining is insufferable at this point.

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