Calvin Johnson had his Hall of Fame ring ceremony today at Detroit, and when owner Sheila Ford intrdocued him, she was met with a bevy of boos.
Calvin Johnson hasn’t had the greatest memories with the Lions as he’s mentioned multiple times how he would have wanted to leave the city after some time, but the team never let him (more on that later).
However, he definitely did have an incredible career with the Lions, working himself up to be the best receiver in the game during his prime, and an all-time great as evidenced by his Hall of Fame induction.
The Lions are honoring Calvin Johnson with a Hall of Fame ceremony at Ford Field pic.twitter.com/tVSMIEmW36
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) September 26, 2021
Sheila Ford gets booed at Calvin Johnson Hall of Fame ceremony
The Detroit Lions have been owned for a long time by the Ford family, and the latest member of the family to take ownership of the team and be in control is Sheila Ford.
Given the history the Ford family has with Calvin Johnson and everything that’s gone wrong with Detroit, you could say that she wasn’t exactly met with the warmest of welcomes.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 26, 2021
What exactly happened with Megatron and the Lions?
In his 9 year career, Johnson was always a top one or two receiver in the league. Nobody could stop him in his prime, he was the definition of a matchup nightmare. However, he never played with elite talent around him, and that cost him a chance at a Super Bowl win.
Detroit only made the postseason twice during Johnson’s career, once in 2011 and once in 2014. Both times they lost in the Wild Card round. Between those seasons and all the other ones during Megatron’s prime, there was a lot of losing and a lot of disappointment.
Obviously a player of Johnson’s caliber wouldn’t be happy with the consistent losing. That unhappiness meant that Johnson often wanted to leave the Detroit Lions.
However, Megatron exposed that Detroit wouldn’t let him leave. Johnson told WoodwardSports.com that:
“WE ASKED WOULD THEY RELEASE ME OR LET ME GO TO ANOTHER TEAM”
Johnson’s quarterback for the majority was Matthew Stafford, another great talent that the Lions wasted. This offseason, Stafford finally got his wish and was able to leave Detroit via a trade to the Los Angeles Rams.
Johnson was incredibly happy for his teammate, but he did have some bitterness at the fact that Detroit never respected his desire to leave the team like they did with Stafford.
Johnson retired in 2015, but by doing so, he ended up shooting himself in the foot. If Johnson had retired in 2016, just a year later, the Lions would have to deal with his $24 million cap hit. This fact was something Johnson’s agent could have used to their advantage by leveraging the Lions to cut him or trade him away.
“YOU KNOW WHAT, IT SUCKED THAT THEY DIDN’T LET ME GO, BUT THEY LET MATTHEW GO, BUT HEY, YOU KNOW, IT IS WHAT IT IS”
Instead, since Stafford retired early, he ended up having to pay the Lions back. This is something that has strained his relationship with the organization currently as he believes the Lions manipulated him into this scenario and took full advantage of the situation instead of respecting and honoring the work Megatron put in for them.
Detroit’s best receiver is by and far Calvin Johnson and you would think they would at least honor him by not making him pay them. However, that was not the case at all. Johnson still has bitterness over that:
“I’M NOT BACK IN THE FAMILY WITH LIONS OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT. IT WOULD BE NICE TO IF THEY TRY TO RESOLVE THINGS, BUT THAT’S NEITHER HERE NOR THERE.”
So, yeah, you can see why Detroit fans were keen on booing away Sheila Ford as soon as she stepped on the stage. Reactions to the booing were also heavily against her.
they wasted the prime years of sanders, megatron, stafford. all of them are hall of famers (stafford on his way) but u see how they both retired early (johnson, sanders) and they easily could’ve been the best at their position. lions are a terrible franchise cuz of them
— chase (@chasedadood) September 26, 2021