On Sunday, the Detroit Lions announced they will honor Hall of Famer Barry Sanders with a statue outside Ford Field.
Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders was an honorary captain for the Detroit Lions for Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins. In concert with that, at halftime the team announced there will be a statue honoring Sanders outside Ford Field.
The eight-foot bronze statue will be unveiled ahead of the 2023 season.
"It is with immense pride that we share the news that we will be honoring the greatest running back in the history of football with a statue in the city we represent,” said Detroit Lions Principal Owner and Chair Sheila Ford Hamp. “Generations upon generations of fans will learn about Barry and his contributions not only to the Lions, but to the game of football. He is truly in a class of his own, and while we may never see a player quite as electrifying or elusive again, Barry’s legacy will live forever and be tangible right here in Detroit.”"
Barry Sanders will finally be immortalized in Lions history
Sanders is the first player in Lions’ franchise history to be honored with a statue.
"Detroit has been my home ever since I was drafted by the Lions in 1989. This statue means the city will be my home forever, it’s surreal.” said Sanders. “There is no way that I can express my gratitude to the entire Ford family, my teammates, my coaches, the Lions Front Office, the media, and most of all to the fans. As I soak it all in and reflect on my career, I recognize what a tremendous honor this is.”"
Sanders of course spent his entire 10-season career with the Lions. He is fourth on the league’s all-time rushing list with 15,269 yards, he was a 10-time Pro Bowler and a six-time All-Pro. He won Rookie of the Year in 1989, and league MVP in 1997 when he rushed for 2,053 yards. His relationship with the franchise wasn’t great for awhile, but it’s been patched up for years now and he’s become a fixture around the facility.
Last year, Sanders was also honored by his alma mater Oklahoma State with a statue.