The first Lions win of the season was secondary on Sunday for head coach Dan Campbell. Following his first NFL win, Campbell took the podium to dedicate the victory, and the game ball, to the victims of the Oxford High School shooting, which happened on November 30th.
Coach Campbell dedicated today's game ball to the Oxford community. pic.twitter.com/kcC2zQ3IVt— Detroit Lions (@Lions) December 5, 2021
The coach was clearly emotional as he read the 11 names of those killed or injured in the shooting. Campbell went on to say that the dedication goes beyond those who were immediately harmed, but all the students and staff of Oxford who have been impacted by the shooting.
Investigations are ongoing by the Oxford school district to determine how an alleged 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley was able to bring a firearm to school, with the Michigan attorney general offering to open a comprehensive review of the incident. In addition to the alleged shooter, his parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley were arrested on four counts of involuntary manslaughter for their role in allowing their son to have access to the gun.
What Campbell did extends beyond football. It takes a really strong character to pull away from the first win of the season to discuss something far more important. The easy thing to do would have been to focus on football, celebrate the win, and talk up the momentum it builds heading into the rest of the season. However, by stopping the football discussion to address the victims and those affected, Campbell really highlighted how important a team can be to a community.