Quarterback Matthew Stafford released this statement: “I am extremely saddened by the passing of Mr. Ford. He was a tremendous owner, as well as a respected and passionate leader of our football team.
“He gave me and many people in the city of Detroit an opportunity to be a part of something great. He was a joy to play for, and his love for the Lions and the city of Detroit will be something we all remember.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the Ford family, and I will always be thankful for the opportunity and the honor to play for Mr. Ford and his beloved Lions.”
Commments from other Lions on Twitter include:
— Wide receiver Calvin Johnson: “Great loss to the Lions family today. My condolences go out to The Ford's. Keeping them in my prayers.”
— Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh: “The Suh Family's thoughts and prayers are with the Ford Family and @DetroitLionsNFL. The city of Detroit lost a great man today.”
— Safety Glover Quin Jr: “Sad to hear the news about Mr. Ford! Condolences sent to his family! R.I.P.!!”
— Running back Joique Bell: “The passing of Mr. Ford was very unfortunate. My prayers are with you Ford family.”
— Running back Reggie Bush: “Today the city of Detroit lost a great man! RIP Mr. William Clay Ford.”
— Cornerback Bill Bentley: “I would like to send my condolences to the Ford family RIP Mr. Ford.’’
— Linebacker Stephen Tulloch: “My Thoughts and prayers go out to the Ford Family today. True 1st class Family. RIP William Clay Ford Sr.’’
— Punter Sam Martin: “Thoughts and prayers go out to the Ford family today on the passing of one of the best to ever do it. Rest in peace Mr. Ford.’’
— Former wide receiver Herman Moore: “It’s a sad moment to hear of Mr. Ford’s passing. I’m just thankful as a player to have met him & I’m thankful to continue to know his family and their commitment to this organization and the state of Michigan. I hope someday the Lions will be crowned champions to show & to honor his commitment to this organization & those that have come through it. The Ford family will remain in my family’s thoughts and prayers.’’