Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell Gives Game Ball to Oxford High School Community

by Evan Reier

Perspective is always important, and that value is not lost on the head coach of the Detroit Lions, Dan Campbell.

It’s been a tough year for the Lions. Coming into Week 13, Detroit was 0-10-1 and facing a Minnesota Vikings team that were heavy favorites. But after a brutal first 11 games, the Detroit Lions were able to pull out a much-needed win.

After a win, a lot of coaches and teams like to give out a game ball to the top player or group of the day. But despite finally getting that elusive win, football was clearly not what was most important. Instead, he made a gesture to uplift the Oxford, Michigan community.

Tragically, a student at Oxford High School in the town killed four students and injured 7 others on a shooting spree this week. So when the moment arose, the Detroit Lions head coach kept that perspective.

It’s clear through his body language and his actual words that offering some form of comfort to the community was important to Dan Campbell.

Detroit Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell Opens Up on Decision

Before he ever allowed questions during the presser, Campbell made sure to address the tragedy and speak on the event.

“The first thing I want to start with is this game ball goes to the whole Oxford community,” Campbell said. “All those who were affected.”

Campbell then read off the names of the victims that died in the shooting.

“That being said, I want us to not forget these names,” he continued. “Madisyn Baldwin, Hana St. Juliana, Justin Shilling, Tate Myre, Phoebe Arthur, John Asciutto, Riley Frantz, Elijah Mueller, Kylie Ossege, Aiden Watson and Molly Darnell.”

Campbell continued by offering one more message of support to the victims’ families and those who survived the tragic event.

“They’ll never be forgotten,” Campbell also said. “They’re in our hearts, in our prayers and all the families and not to mention all those that were affected by all this. The classmates, the brothers, sisters, cousins, the teachers, everybody.”

Michigan Football Wears Patch During Championship Game

Besides the Detroit Lions and Dan Campbell’s touching gesture, the Michigan Wolverines also honored victims by donning a patch for their Big 10 conference championship game against the Iowa Hawkeyes.

The patch honored the school by using the school’s “Block O” logo as a base and with Tate Myre’s initials and number on top to honor the football player and his classmates killed in the tragedy.

The Wolverines went on to win big, routing Iowa 42-3. While it was a massive win, Michigan scoring the same amount of points as Myre’s jersey made for a symbolic tribute to the student, the school and the Oxford community.