During his Wednesday afternoon press conference, Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell was wearing an Oxford High hat in remembrance of the school shooting that left four students dead and seven people injured. The shooting took place exactly a year ago—November 30, 2021—and left a community in mourning.
To Campbell, it was important to show all of those affected that they’re still being thought of a year after the tragedy.
“If you’re outside of that community who was directly impacted, you go about your lives and you forget about it,” Campbell said. “You’ve got other things going on, this and that, and I think just for this moment, I want them to know we’re thinking about them. That there was just a little bit of thought that went into the fact that, ‘Hey, this happened a year ago and we feel your pain, and just because time has passed doesn’t mean that those scars aren’t still there.’”
Last year, to help the grief-stricken community, the Detroit Lions honored the victims of the tragedy with a helmet decal, a moment of silence, and the players sported Oxford High apparel during warmups for their home contest against the Minnesota Vikings. The hope was to just give these young kids and adults something else to think about. Miraculously, the Lions won that game on a last-second touchdown, the team’s first victory of the season.
This past spring, the Lions, having dedicated that game to Oxford, delivered a game ball commemorating the moment to the high school.
“I go back to that time last year and it was really—there was more to it than just we’re going out to win a game,” Campbell said. “It was about, at the very least, you wanted to just take their mind off of it even for a little bit and know that, ‘Hey, we were playing for them.’ And so, I was glad we were able to give that to him and give them the ball.”
This serves as a nice reminder to keep those affected by tragedies in your thoughts, and if you know someone personally who was affected, think about checking in with them to see if they’re doing okay on this tough day.