Calvin Johnson thanks teammates, coaches, Lions fans and city of Detroit
Calvin Johnson joked at the beginning of his speech that he was a man of few words. But the former Lions receiver still managed to exceed the 8-minute time limit by 2 minutes during his Hall of Fame enshrinement.
In those 10 minutes, as expected, Johnson did not acknowledge the Lions organization. His relationship with the franchise remains strained, five years after his abrupt retirement from the NFL at the age of 30.
A recent offer from the Lions didn’t improve things.
Johnson did thank his teammates, his coaches, Lions fans and the city of Detroit on Sunday night.
“Lions fans and the city of Detroit,” Johnson said. “When we were 0-16, you never stopped showing up. You were disappointed, but you never stopped showing up. Every week, you showed up. This motivated me to do the same thing for you. You loved me and my family unconditionally over these 15 years. I want you to know: Michigan is our home. Detroit is our city. Lions fans are our pride.
“To all my teammates and coaches I played with, please stand. It’s hard for me to go back and name every single one of you. It’s not really that hard, but I just want you to know I valued every moment I spent with you on the field, in the locker room and with our families. These relationships and friendships will last a lifetime, and I want you to know they helped carry me to this moment right now. I’m thankful, thankful for each and every one of you. Love you.”