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Martha Ford steps down as Detroit Lions owner, Sheila Ford Hamp to take over

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The Lions have a new primary owner.

NFL: NOV 22 Raiders at Lions Photo by Steven King/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Detroit Lions announced on Tuesday morning that team owner, Martha Firestone Ford, is stepping down as owner of the team. Her daughter, Sheila Ford Hamp, will succeed her as the team’s principal owner and team chairman.

“It has been a great honor for our family to be associated with the Lions and with the National Football League,” Martha Ford said in a written statement. “I am gratified that this family tradition, which my husband and I began almost six decades ago, will continue under Sheila’s guiding hand. It is clear to me that Sheila will provide superb leadership and is fully committed to competitive excellence and community involvement.”

Sheila Ford has previously served as the team’s vice chairman over the past six years.

“My mother has inspired all of us since taking on leadership of the Lions over six years ago,” Sheila said via statement. “She has been a tireless leader of our family, our team and our community. Her smart decisions have given me a solid foundation to take the team forward. On behalf of the family and the team, I want to thank her for her countless contributions. I look forward to leading the Lions to excellence on and off the field.”