The Detroit Lions will be splitting with Matthew Stafford in the coming weeks and months, and that means the team’s first family will also be moving on with him.
Kelly Stafford as well as the couple’s daughters have become as much a part of the fabric of the community as the quarterback himself, so the big change will not be limited to the football field next fall when there is a new signal caller in the huddle in Detroit.
Stafford herself broke her silence after it was revealed that her husband would be splitting with the only team he’s ever known in the Lions. She hopped on Instagram and posted an emotional statement in which she thanked fans as well as reflected on the tough and sad reality that the family will soon be moving on.
“Thank you. This place, our home, the people… it’s hard to find the words to explain what this place means to me. Random tears come very often when I think about not being here. This place supported me during the toughest time of my life and during the happiest times and I want to thank y’all in the right way. Whenever I figure out what the future holds, you’ll be hearing from me again with a thank you that hopefully shows how much gratitude and love I have for this place.. but until then we are going to enjoy our time left in Michigan to the fullest because there really is no other place like it.”
It’s clear that Stafford is feeling more than a bit emotional about moving on, and it will be tough for many to see her family in another locale.
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Kelly Stafford Once Maintained Family Wanted to Stay
Though trade rumors swirled last offseason, Stafford was never moved and stayed with the team. Early in 2019, Stafford said that she and her family were both motivated to stick with the team. In a response that was screen shotted by a fan on Twitter back then, Stafford showed how motivated she and her husband were to stick in Detroit for the long haul to win:
“He wants a championship for this city as much as y’all do. This is our home too. They’ll have to ship him out if they don’t want him. He isn’t going anywhere by choice,” Stafford wrote.
That certainly fit with the narrative. Stafford had signed a massive contract extension a few years back and continues to love Detroit until the bitter end. His family has also made the city a home and been embraced by Lions fans. The hope was the team could build around him properly, but the Lions struggled with that and the decision to part ways came to a head this past week.
Lions Fans Have Complicated Relationship With Kelly Stafford
Through the years, Stafford and Lions fans have been embroiled in a complex relationship. Often times, she made enemies with the Detroit fans given her outspoken nature on social media, especially concerning the play of her husband. Often times, she would be critical of fans. For the most part, however, Stafford and the Lions fans embraced each other and the passion on both sides was evident. Some fans did not like Stafford because of how she freely shared her opinions no matter how extreme they might have been. Such was the case when she shared her take on Michigan’s COVID-19 restrictions earlier this fall. Despite that, the community embraced her during brain surgery a few years back and helped lift her up during that time.
Even with all of this in mind, it’s tough to see this chapter push to a conclusion. Stafford, however, will always be tied to the community for a long time.