Lions go over the top in backing president Tom Lewand
If the Detroit Lions can begin the 2010 season with the sense of urgency they’ve had in rallying behind team president Tom Lewand following his arrest Friday night on suspicion of drunken driving, maybe a turnaround will be afoot in Motown.
Lewand released a statement following his arrest and now owner William Clay Ford Sr., the man who empowered Matt Millen for nearly a decade, has shown what can only be termed as unequivocal support for Lewand.
“Tom made a very serious mistake and he appropriately owned up to that mistake," Ford Sr. said in his statement, according to the Detroit News. “As he continues to seek professional assistance for this problem, the Lions will support and help him in any way possible. I continue to have full confidence that Tom will positively lead our organization as he has since assuming his current role of team president. He has all my support.”
Per the report, Lewand has been in counseling for a drinking problem for “several months.” Lewand said in his statement that he was in “active recovery.”
Lewand was arrested in Roscommon County, Mich., following a charity event that was founded by late Lions offensive lineman Bob Kowalkowski. Like all league employees, Lewand is subject to the personal conduct policy that commissioner Roger Goodell uses to discipline players.
The Lions didn’t just stop with Ford Sr.’s remarks. The team also had coach Jim Schwartz – someone whose employment is controlled to a large degree by Lewand – release a statement.
“Tom's leadership was very instrumental in my decision to become head coach of the Detroit Lions," Schwartz said in the statement. “I fully support his commitment to recovery.”
We’re not sure what the point in releasing a statement from the coach is in this instance, but it’s clear the Lions are fully behind Lewand in his efforts to battle an alcohol issue and remain at the forefront of the organization.
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