With a lockout in full force, Detroit Lions players are a lot harder to find on the team’s website these days. The changes might be subtle but the symbolism is great.
Head to DetroitLions.com and you’ll be greeted with a landing page with information regarding 2011 season ticket packages. That page used to feature a photo of Calvin Johnson but it now bears the image of head coach Jim Schwartz.
Click through the landing page to enter the main website and you’ll see this:
…another banner featuring Jim Schwartz. The other main highlight of the page is a large box that rotates through four main stories. Three show combine photos of draft prospects and the other is simply the NFL logo for an update on the labor situation. Once again, no player images are featured. This sort of thing is going on all over the league. The Tampa Bay Bucs recently took down promotional banners at Raymond James Stadium.
Players can still be seen in videos and photo galleries that hit the site before the lockout but expect to see any players likenesses used for promotional purposes or website decoration until the labor situation is settled.
[Update] The Lions site now shows a picture of Matthew Stafford for an article in which Jim Schwartz provides positive feedback on Stafford’s recovery. The site may be willing to use player photos on occasion but the points about the use of Schwartz on the landing page and banner remains.