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Martha Ford steps down as Detroit Lions owner, daughter takes over

Detroit Lions helmet during game
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions owner Martha Ford is stepping down from her principal leadership role after six years with the team.

Martha Firestone Ford steps down as Detroit Lions owner

Martha Ford, 94, took over the team in 2014 following the death of her husband William. He had been the team’s sole owner since 1963.

In a press release, the Lions announced that Ford’s daughter Sheila Ford Hamp will take over as the team’s principal owner and vice chairperson.

Hamp most recently served as a vice chairperson for the Lions, according to the team’s official website. She had assisted her mother in that role since 2014.

“My mother has inspired all of us since taking on leadership of the Lions over six years ago,” Shelia Ford Hamp said, via team statement. “She has been a tireless leader to 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.”

Now with Hamp taking over in place of her mother, the NFL will continue to have four women among its majority team owners entering the 2020 season.

Martha Ford never considered selling the team and it seems likely the Lions will remain under the Ford name for years to come.

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