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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell offers statement on Detroit Lions ownership change

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“Martha Ford has led the Lions with skill and grace for the past six seasons.”

NFL: SEP 18 Lions at Giants Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Martha Firestone Ford may have only been the owner of the Detroit Lions for six year, but she certainly made an impact both on the organization and the National Football League. As detailed by’s Mike O’Hara, Ford was a “hands-on” owner—unlike her late husband—and was often walking and talking with league commissioner Roger Goodell during owners meetings every year.

On Tuesday, Martha Ford stepped down as team owner, handing the reins to her daughter, Sheila Ford Hamp. Shortly thereafter, Goodell offered this official statement on the Lions’ change in ownership.

“Martha Ford has led the Lions with skill and grace for the past six seasons. I have appreciated her business insights, her love of the game, her deep commitment to the NFL, and her personal kindness. We are pleased that the Ford family will continue to own and operate this historic franchise. Sheila Hamp has become increasingly involved in team and league affairs over the past several years and we look forward to working with her and the rest of the club’s executive team.”