Former Detroit Lions wideout Calvin Johnson received his Hall of Fame ring on Sunday afternoon, and as a feud between him and team continues, fans finally had a chance to show where they stand.
Before Johnson got his ring, team owner Sheila Ford Hamp shared some brief words of encouragement for Johnson, One problem? Folks could barely hear them thanks to all of the loud boos that nearly droned out Ford Hamp’s words.
The latest Lions news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Lions newsletter here!
Here’s a look at the scene, courtesy of Fox 17’s Zach Harig:
Hearing those boos is not all that surprising seeing as fans have been frustrated with ownership for decades, and it’s clear this could be a good sign of where many folks stand. Many maintain they are frustrated with Johnson, but it’s obvious the fans are still blaming ownership for a lot of what happened.
At one point, Johnson even appeared to signal to fans to stop booing Ford Hamp.
It will be interesting to see if the sides come closer together as a result of this before things could become uglier between the sides.
Sheila Ford Wants Resolution With Calvin Johnson
Fans might not want to consider Ford Hamp the enemy here, seeing as she admitted she wants to see During Dan Campbell’s introductory press conference, a question slipped in about if the Lions wanted to make things right with Johnson and when. According to Sheila Ford Hamp, that’s a major goal for the franchise at this point in time and the seeds are being planted for a new relationship.
While Ford Hamp didn’t want to talk about the notable money end of things, she did say she hopes the Lions can work things out with Johnson for the future.
“I’m not going to go into the money issue, but I hope we can repair things with Calvin Johnson,” Ford said at the time. “He was obviously an amazing player for us. We’re going to continue to reach out to him and hope that we can repair things because I think it’s important that he comes back into the Lions family. We’d love it if he could, if he will. We are 100% behind him for his Hall of Fame ballots and hope he gets it this time. He was a great, great player and terrific person and we’d love to have him back with us, and working with us and helping us with everything.”
That’s a pretty honest and direct statement which would seem to indicate that the Lions want to make things right with Johnson. Recently, Barry Sanders extended his own olive branch on behalf of the Lions, so it’s clear the team is making this a major priority for the future like they should.
Now, the ball remains in the court of both Johnson and the team. The Lions will likely have to meet him on the money issue, and Johnson will have to be willing to listen. Hopefully, this can happen before a potential Hall of Fame induction later on this year.
Johnson Recently Admitted Resolution With Lions Would Be ‘Nice’
Will the sides come together eventually? 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 Ford Hamp in charge as they showed when they traded Matthew Stafford, a move that Stafford has praised the new brass for multiple times.
We’ll see if this moment ends up bringing the sides closer or not.
READ NEXT: Dan Campbell Slams ‘Same Old Lions’ Approach