They had ONE job
For a guy who literally put his body on the line, whether it be for a first down or touchdown, it’s hard to believe an organization would have a hard time compensating his efforts and making his exit as smooth as possible. Yet, the Detroit Lions somehow found a way to create some tension with one of the franchises most impactful players.
According to reports, former Lions receiver Calvin Johnson has broken his silence partially in saying that he wasn’t necessarily content with how he was treated upon his exit from the NFL. Johnson, who retired in March 2016 told the Detroit Free Press that he doesn’t like to speak on the organization too much because of how things ended between the two.
From my understanding, Johnson was one of those quiet hardcore competitors on the field but a stand up well-spoken guy off the field, so for him to have nothing positive or anything at all to say about the organization as a spectator raises red flags to me on behalf of the Lions.
I’m not saying the Lions needed to retire the recognizable 81 jersey this past season but for an organization who prides themselves with draped playoff appearance banners (like for real?), what effort would it have taken to I don’t know…honor the guy with a season opening coin toss or a big No. 81 banner based off the simple fact his 11,619 yards and a whopping 83 touchdowns are the most in NFL history for a player with absolutely zero playoff wins.
You don’t have to be a fan of the Lions to know the energy and excitement Megatron brought to the city and team. Nine times out of ten, he victimized your team’s defensive backs on numerous occasions for a Sports Center top 10 appearance. For a franchise that has more memorable losses than wins, making Johnson feel special a year into his retirement would have been the only logical thing to do. The guy laid it out every game, and even admitted to playing through concussions, and for the Lions organization to downplay his efforts with no post retirement praise or accolades as if he wasn’t the greatest wide receiver to grace Ford Field, yea I’d be pretty pissed off and nonchalant about things too.