During a recent episode of the Pardon My Take podcast, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell said that he has spoken to Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp about getting a live lion to walk around with in Allen Park and at Ford Field. While talking about the lion, which he noted would be on a chain, Campbell mentioned that PETA may not be happy but that the lions would be well fed and pet.
Well, PETA did catch wind of Campbell’s comments and the responded by sending Campbell a plush stuffed animal and the following letter.
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.
All the best,
Celebrity Relations Manager