Lions head coach Dan Campbell dedicated Sunday’s game ball to the Oxford community following Tuesday’s school shooting that left four high school students dead.
In an emotional press conference, Campbell offered his support to the Michigan community and to all who were affected by the recent tragedy. The first-year head coach also took a moment to remember the lives of those who were lost and those injured.
“First thing I’m going to start with, this game ball goes to the whole Oxford community, all those who were affected,” Campbell said Sunday after the Lions logged their first win of the season.
“And that being said, I want us to not forget these names, Madisyn Baldwin, Hana St. Juliana, Justin Shilling, Tate Myre, Phoebe Arthur, John Asciutto, Riley Franz, Elijah Mueller, Kylie Ossege, Aiden Watson, and Molly Darnell, who’s a teacher,” Campbell continued. “Those names … will never be forgotten. They’re in our hearts, in our prayers, and all the families, and not to mention all of those that were affected by all of this, the classmates, brothers or sisters, cousins, the teachers, everybody, coaches.”
Madisyn Baldwin, 17, Tate Myre, 16, and Hana St. Juliana, 14, were killed in Tuesday’s shooting, while Justin Shilling, 17, died the following day from wounds suffered in the rampage. Myre, a football player, reportedly tried to disarm the accused shooter, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley.
Ahead of Sunday’s game against the Vikings, in which the Lions defeated their NFC North rival, 29-27, Detriot safety Jalen Elliott paid tribute to Myre by wearing his name on the back of his No. 42 jersey.
Myre also wore No. 42 on Oxford’s football team.
Both the Lions and the Vikings had “O” decals on their helmets for Sunday’s game in honor of Oxford.
Quarterback Jared Goff, who was traded to the Lions in January from the Rams, also spoke about honoring the Oxford community Sunday.
“You hope to be a light for those people and a positive thing that they can have fun watching today. I hope they were all watching today and were able to enjoy that win and we can take their minds off it for, whatever it may be, three hours,” Goff said.
“I think anytime that we can do that, it’s a lot bigger than our sports, a lot bigger than us. And I think today was one of those special circumstances that we were able to rise to the occasion and make something special happen.”