PETA is offering a new addition to the Detroit Lions team—a stuffed lion named Dan Detroit.
Dan Campbell recently joked to popular sports comedy podcast Pardon My Take that he’d enjoy having a real live lion on the sidelines to pump up the guys. He apparently added: “I don’t know if PETA’s going to allow that.”
Now PETA is reaching out to Campbell with a request. According to a press release, they’re sending him a plush toy lion they’ve named Dan Detroit in hopes he’ll use it as a symbol.
“No lion belongs in a barren cage or on a chain,” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “If Coach Campbell makes Dan Detroit part of the Lions’ entourage, he’ll help PETA spread the message that lions are wild animals, not mascots, props, or ‘pets.’”
PETA explains in the release that part of their motto includes “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” and that they oppose “speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.”
Here’s the letter that accompanied Dan Detroit in full:
Dear Coach Campbell,
Congratulations on your new role as head coach of the Detroit Lions! We heard your comments made in jest about acquiring a lion to keep as a “pet” at the team’s facilities. As you mentioned, lions are wild animals, and they don’t belong in football stadiums (or at roadside zoos or in people’s backyards).
Fortunately, the world is more aware now than ever before of the suffering endured by exotic animals when they’re condemned to live in a barren cage, forced to interact with members of the public, and coerced into doing demeaning tricks at the end of a chain and under threat of being whipped. And this awareness has meant that more decrepit roadside zoos that are incapable of taking care of animals have been shut down, abusive exhibitors have lost their licenses (or even gone to prison), and previously exploited big cats have found new homes in accredited sanctuaries.
So while the Detroit Lions should remain the only lions at Ford Field, we thought we would send you an addition to your team: Meet Dan Detroit the Lion!
Making Dan Detroit part of the Detroit Lions’ entourage will encourage an end to the abuse and exploitation of lions and other big cats as mascots or props and spare a wild animal a lifetime of suffering. He’s a symbol of support for all lions—both on the field and off.
And onto the rest of your notes.
- PFF’s ranking of starting quarterbacks is not too kind to the Lions, but their sentiments are high. “The Lions seem to be building around Goff, and this is exactly what he needs to get his confidence back up so he can play at a high level again.”
- The Athletic’s Nick Baumgardner and Chris Burke released the third part of their sit down with the Lions’ coordinators. In this installment, they discuss Quinton Dunbar, Jeff Okudah, and “being able to shrink the game” with Aaron Glenn. (Subscription required.)
"He’s a 4.3 guy. OK. So that intrigues you … 6-2, a 4.3 and 33-inch arms? I can work with that. I mean, shit."— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) May 18, 2021
Lions DC Aaron Glenn breaks down Quinton Dunbar's game (and explains why Jeff Okudah should be better in year two).
- Now that schedules have been released, ever wonder how they’re made? The latest NFL Explained offers an inside look.
- The Lions made their own joke about Campbell’s lion comments.
Guys, coach was joking.— Detroit Lions (@Lions) May 18, 2021
But it'd be cool, right? Imagine the possibilities pic.twitter.com/KIl4yZNFXc
- A certain young Lions receiver made Bleacher Report’s list of rookies that will have a surprisingly large impact this season.
- Also from BR, a list of the best players who could be cut from each team this offseason: “Although Detroit isn’t hurting for cap space, a club with no illusions about contending this year hardly needs a defensive lineman on the wrong side of 30.”
- The early sportsbooks don’t think too highly of the Lions right now... but everyone loves an underdog, right?