January 25, 2014; Honolulu, HI, USA; General view of the NFL shield logo at midfield during the 2014 Pro Bowl Ohana Day at Aloha Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NFL mourns the loss of William Clay Ford


With the passing of Detroit Lions owner and chairman William Clay Ford, several teams have released statements to honor and mourn the long-time NFL executive. The team statements are below.

Detroit Lions President Tom Lewand

“It is with profound sadness that we mourn the loss of Mr. Ford and extend our deepest sympathies to Mrs. Ford and to the entire Ford family.

“No owner loved his team more than Mr. Ford loved the Lions.

“Those of us who had the opportunity to work for Mr. Ford knew of his unyielding passion for his family, the Lions and the city of Detroit.

“His leadership, integrity, kindness, humility and good humor were matched only by his desire to bring a Super Bowl championship to the Lions and to our community. Each of us in the organization will continue to relentlessly pursue that goal in his honor.”


Mark Wilf, President, and  principal owner Zygi Wilf of the Minnesota Vikings:

“We are saddened by the passing of William Clay Ford. A leader in the NFL for decades, Mr. Ford had a profound impact on shaping this game. His passion for the Lions and the city of Detroit was unwavering and will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Ford family and the Detroit Lions organization.”


Falcons Owner & Chairman Arthur Blank:

“Mr. Ford was a man of vision, passion, and an unwavering love for his family and his football team. He was a key owner in the National Football League who provided the Detroit community with stability and leadership. The entire Atlanta Falcons organization expresses our deepest sympathies and condolences to the Ford family and the Detroit Lions club.”


Kansas City Chiefs Chairman & CEO Clark Hunt:

“On behalf of my family and the entire Chiefs organization we’d like to express our deepest sympathies to the Ford family and the Detroit Lions. Mr. Ford was a kind, passionate man that always had the game’s best interests in mind. He loved his family and his team dearly and it showed in his work. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Ford family and the Lions during this difficult time.”


New York Jets owner Woody Johnson:

“We would like to extend our condolences to the family of William Clay Ford Sr.,” Johnson said. “A tremendous owner, his guidance and passion for the Lions spanned more than 50 years. Our NFL community will certainly miss him.”


Washington Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder:

“I am saddened to learn of the passing of William Ford, Sr. On behalf of the entire Washington Redskins organization, I would like to extend my condolences, thought and prayers to the Ford family and the Detroit Lions.

“He was pioneer in the business world and his legacy not only impacted the National Football League but the footprint of American history.”


Tom Benson, Owner/Chairman of the Board of the New Orleans Saints:

“William Clay Ford’s impact on both the National Football League and the automotive industry have been significant. He had a great passion for both the city of Detroit and the Detroit Lions. Today, we mourn his passing. The entire NFL has lost a dear and valued friend. We extend our condolences to William’s wife Martha and his entire family.”

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