I’ve tried to write this article at least a dozen times now, but every time I begin, I have to stop because this week’s tragedy in Oxford, Michigan hits close to home for me, as I’m sure it does for many.
At my home, my wife is a teacher and two of my children are school-aged. We’ve had some hard conversations this week. Questions without reasonable answers have been raised and delicate responses are required—an unfortunate common theme across the country for certain.
At the job, I’ve tried to keep things on track, as much as possible. We all deal with tragedy in different ways, and we at Pride of Detroit have continued to push forward with our coverage of the team, offering a distraction for Detroit Lions’ fans, looking to take their mind off things, even for a moment or two.
The Lions organization is in a similar situation. Throughout the week, we have heard many players and coaches share stories of how tragedy has shaped their perspective. At the same time, the Lions recognize they are in a position to raise awareness and offer assistance to the impacted.
“It hurts. It hurts and I’m speaking for the group and, of course, the team,” assistant head coach Duce Staley said on Friday. “We had a conversation about it. It’s tough to deal with, but we are in the shoes and we have platforms where we can continue to reach out and help as many people as possible by any means necessary on any level. And we must do that. That’s our job, and we will.”
We have seen and heard of individuals within the organization reaching out to the Oxford community, and on Sunday, the Lions will show their support by honoring the victims in several ways.
“Just as a starting point we’re going to have t-shirts, we’ve got hats made, we’re going to have decals on the back of the helmets,” coach Dan Campbell said on Friday. “We’ll have the moment of silence before the game, certainly. Those guys are on our minds, and so we want to represent them on Sunday. I know there will be a group of those students and kids and people who have been affected that’ll be watching this game. So, right now, that’s the best way to help them.”
If you are interested in supporting the Oxford community, Hour Detroit’s Emma Klug compiled a thorough list of ways to help. Some options include donating to verified GoFundMe accounts and Change.org, or purchasing apparel from the Oxford Wildcat Booster Club. If you require support dealing with this tragedy, the Michigan department of health and human services have published a list of strategies and resources for those who need it.
The Lions will take on the Minnesota Vikings this Sunday at Ford Field at 1 p.m. ET, and as always, we at Pride of Detroit will have you covered with all the latest news surrounding the team.