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Lions fan working to purchase, donate tickets forfeited by racist

An ugly story with an inspiring ending.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, a Detroit Lions fan was caught in a controversy. After posting a picture of a couple sitting for the national anthem on Snapchat with a caption including a racial slur, the season ticket holder forfeited his tickets and was banned from Ford Field by the Detroit Lions.

It was an ugly incident and one that left several Lions players upset and embarrassed by the incident. But one Lions fan is trying to remedy the situation.

Online persona “Sandman” (his real name is Andy) has made a name for himself with his Detroit Lions “slowlight” video compilations. His YouTube channel currently has over 6,300 subscribers and is mostly filled with Lions highlights played in extreme slow-motion to capture the details of every play (our favorite, however, is his Don Muhlbach highlight reel).

Now, Andy wants to do even more for the team. On Twitter, he announced that he is attempting to purchase the forfeited tickets and plans to donate them to a charity devoted to spreading equality.

“It felt like a perfect opportunity to take a horrible situation and flip it 180,” Andy told Pride of Detroit via email. “Buy the now empty seats and make sure they go to people who know what diversity brings to a city like Detroit.”

It was a shot in the dark by Andy, and one that usually falls upon deaf ears considering how busy official team Twitter accounts are, but he was determined. Andy took a few extra steps by both direct messaging the official Lions Twitter account and contacting his ticket account executive. He got a response from the Lions official Twitter account just a few hours later.

Andy won’t know if the deal goes through until sometime this week, but he’s determined to make something happen, even if these plans fall through. “Even if they won’t let me buy those seats, I’ll buy another set and use those,” he said.

Though he hasn’t decided on a charity yet, Andy is working with a professional to decide on a good fit. He’s also already received at least one offering from a company that helps support local charities, Detroit Philanthropy:

Whatever he decides to do, it’ll be to the benefit of the Detroit Lions and their fans. “Ford Field should be a place that unites us fans and humans who all enjoy football,” Andy said. “Not a place to hate your neighbor for any reason.”

Amen, Sandman.

UPDATE: It appears Andy successfully acquired the tickets from the Lions. Great job, Sandman!

If you’re inspired by Andy’s story, be sure to follow him on Twitter here and subscribe to his YouTube Channel. Sandman is good people.

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