By: Will Burchfield
In a list of the 100 most important people in the NFL compiled by USA Today Sports, Martha Ford and DeAndre Levy were the two members of the Lions organization to gain recognition. The ranking, determined by USA Today's NFL staff, was released yesterday.
Ford, the Lions' majority owner, was commended for her definitive leadership of the franchise since taking over for the late William Ford in 2014. Known for a vim and vigor that belies her age, Martha Ford, 90, has hardly been a passive owner. She fired team President Tom Lewand and General Manager Martin Mayhew in the middle of the 2015 season, replacing them with Rod Wood and Bob Quinn, respectively. Her quest to win a Super Bowl is active and ongoing.
Levy, though a leader on the Lions' defense, was recognized for what he's done off the field. In April, he penned an article on The Players' Tribune called "Man Up," imploring more NFL players to speak out against sexual assault and buck the sense of entitlement among a "hyper-masculine culture."
"It's important to challenge many of the basic beliefs men have about what their relationships with women should be like," Levy wrote. "Sexually "conquering" as many women as possible is expected and admired — so much so that there's often a silent competition amongst groups of males over who can get the most women. An athlete's sense of entitlement to a woman's body is exacerbated because he has been idolized and put on a pedestal in a hyper-masculine culture."
The rest of USA Today's list was comprised of owners, general managers, players, broadcasters and, of course, a certain commissioner.
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