NFL head coach wanted live lion on sideline but was instantly denied

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Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell was denied a request to have a live lion on the sideline (Image: Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell was denied a request to have a live lion on the sideline (Image: Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Detroit Lions had an unusual sideline request that was denied by the NFL.

Head coach Dan Campbell had expressed his desire to bring a live lion to the gameday experience, but - unsurprisingly - the league did not approve of the idea. Campbell initially mentioned the proposal when he joined the franchise in 2020 and stated that team owner Sheila Hamp Ford was supportive.

However, the NFL frowned upon such arrangements, as Campbell revealed in a recent interview on 'Pardon My Take' (via the Express US). Campbell clarified that it was not NFL commissioner Roger Goodell who vetoed the idea but rather the league itself.

"I'm not gonna point out Roger on this, I'm just gonna say the league frowns on that, let's just say that," said Campbell. Speaking in 2021, Campbell admitted that he was unsure of how PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) would react to his idea.

He said: "The problem is I don't know if PETA's going to allow that, though. It's gonna be hard. Believe me, though, we would take great care of it."

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In Campbell's vision, the lion would have been well-fed, pampered, and groomed. The 47-year-old quipped: "I might end up losing an arm because of it, but that would be even better because it would validate what, this is a freaking, this is a creature now. This is an animal. This thing, this is from the wild."

While some NFL teams have had live mascots in the past, such as Thunder III for the Denver Broncos and Taima the augur buzzard for the Seattle Seahawks, Campbell's request for a live lion was deemed unsuitable. Looking ahead to the upcoming season, the Lions are aiming to improve upon their performance in 2022 when they narrowly missed making the playoffs with a 9-8 record.

NFL head coach wanted live lion on sideline but was instantly deniedDan Campbell wanted to bring a live lion to the sidelines

With Aaron Rodgers leaving the Green Bay Packers for the New York Jets, the NFC North division presents an opportunity for the Lions to make their mark. As they prepare for the NFL 2023 campaign, the Lions will play three preseason games against the New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Carolina Panthers before the regular season kicks off.

Their first regular-season game is scheduled against the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, on "Thursday Night Football." Following that, the Lions will host the Seattle Seahawks and the Atlanta Falcons.

This article was crafted with the help of AI tools, which speed up Mirror.co.uk ' s editorial research. A content editor reviewed this content before it was published. You can report any errors to [email protected].

Joshua Mbu

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