Calvin Johnson went into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last month in an emotional ceremony that was special for fans, and now the public will get to welcome their new enshrined stud in a proper way at home.
This season, Johnson will come back to his former football home to take in a game as well as receive some accolades for his recent Hall of Fame accomplishment following his Detroit Lions career.
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As Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reported on Twitter, Johnson will make his return to Ford Field to receive his Hall of Fame ring during a game on Sunday, September 26, 2021 during the NFL’s Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens.
Obviously, the question that is likely still on plenty of minds is if the wideout has patched things up with the team, but Birkett’s wording of the tweet seems to clarify that things have not yet been rectified between the sides at this point in time.
It seems unlikely the Lions could patch things up in a few weeks, so Johnson is likely to still be at odds with the Lions even as he gets honored for cracking the Hall of Fame.
Calvin Johnson’s Hall of Fame Speech Special for Fans
In the enshrinement speech on Sunday, August 8 during the enshrinement ceremony in Canton, Ohio, Johnson stepped up and delivered a great speech which showed his passion for the fans. While he touched on a great deal of what helped him become a Hall of Fame player and what he is up to now, perhaps the most touching moment was when Johnson spoke directly to his fans, his city and his adoptive home state of Michigan.
Here’s a look at the full speech:
“Lions fans, the city of Detroit, when we were 0-16, you never stopped showing up. You were disappointed but you never stopped showing up. Every week you showed up. This motivated me to do the same thing for you. You loved me and my family unconditionally over these 15 years. I want you to know, Michigan is our home, Detroit is our city, and Lions fans are our pride,” Johnson said during the speech.
Johnson has long maintained that he loves Lions fans as well as his city, and even in spite of the difficulty that he is having with the franchise, it doesn’t change how he feels about the folks that cheered him week in and week out without fail.
That will combine to make September 26 a very special day for Detroit fans.
Johnson Recently Admitted Resolution With Lions Would Be ‘Nice’
It seems as if the ball is still firmly in the Lions court on this matter, and has been for a while. As Chris Burke of The Athletic shared on Twitter, Johnson joined Woodward Sports along with former teammate Rob Sims a few months ago, and amongst a few of the more interesting revelations that he explained, Detroit wouldn’t trade or release him at the time of his retirement, which was a part of the frustration he had with the team over his exit.
“At the end there, when it was time to retire on the way out, we asked would they release me or let me go to another team, they wouldn’t. I’m not back in the family with the Lions or anything like that. It would be nice to if they try to resolve things. But that’s neither here nor there, you know, I’m here to support the players. That’s what it’s all about.”
Obviously, it’s more than interesting that the team would not let Johnson seek a trade or release him, which mirrors what happened to Barry Sanders as he was leaving the Lions. Things have changed with the organization with new owner Sheila Ford Hamp in charge as they showed when they traded Matthew Stafford, a move that Stafford has praised the new brass for multiple times.
Perhaps the team can take the proper steps to making things right with Johnson in time. At this point, it’s pretty clear the sides remain apart even as Johnson gets set to come back to be honored this month.