Dan Campbell dedicates first Lions victory to victims of Oxford high school shooting

The Detroit Lions won their first game of the season on Sunday, but the significance of the occasion has extended beyond the walls of Ford Field.

As neighboring Oxford, Michigan continues to recover from a mass shooting at a local high school that claimed the lives of four students and injured six students and a teacher, the Lions head coach Dan Campbell opened his post-match press conference by dedicating the game ball to the victims, listing each by name and everyone affected by the tragedy.

“I just wanted them to know exactly what we were going to represent today,” Campbell said, visibly moved, of his message to the team. “The shirts, the hats, the decals, the people who are affected. Some of our players know someone who has been affected. For me, my thought was, ‘Hey, man, if we can, for three hours, relieve it. just suffer them a little, it’s worth it. So that’s kind of how I thought of it and we did a great job, the players responded well and played well. “

On the heels of an inspiring victory for the Michigan Wolverines football team over the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday in the Big Ten Championship game, the Lions entered Sunday with a chance to give a devastated community another moment of good- be in front of their loyal fans. And they delivered.

Lagging behind the Vikings, 27-23, with less than two minutes left in rule, Jared Goff and the offense orchestrated a 14-play, 75-yard practice that ended in an 11-yard touchdown pass. to rookie wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown to earn it over time. The series was Detroit’s best of the afternoon.

“You never hope for a tragedy like this, but you hope to be a light for these people and a positive thing that they can have fun watching,” Goff said. “I hope they were all watching today and they were able to enjoy this win and we can forget them for anything, three hours. I think every time we can do that, it’s is a lot more important than our sport, it’s a lot bigger than us and I think today was one of those special circumstances where we got to take the opportunity and make something special happen. “

The shooting took place on November 30 at Oxford High School, located less than an hour from Lions Stadium. The suspect, a 15-year-old student at the school, was arrested on the day of the shooting and faces multiple charges. The suspect’s parents were arrested on Saturday and charged with manslaughter.

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