NFL: Lions Vice Chairman Bill Ford, Jr. Calls Bears 'Thugs'

Detroit Lions vice chairman Bill Ford, Jr. called the Chicago Bears "a bunch of thugs" during the Lions Courage House dinner on Tuesday.

Oct 3 2013, 12:27am CDT | by

NFL: Lions Vice Chairman Bill Ford, Jr. Calls Bears 'Thugs'
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Detroit Lions vice chairman Bill Ford, Jr. has labeled the Chicago Bears "a bunch of thugs."

Ford let his thoughts about their NFC North division rivals be known during the team's Lions Courage House dinner on Oct. 1, an event which was held in honor of injured Detroit wide receiver Nate Burleson.

When asked to comment about the atmosphere at Ford Field, he included an example of a Monday Night Football game between the two teams in 2011, not "last year" like he mentioned.

"It was really alive, and it was alive when we played those same bunch of thugs on Monday night, you know, last year. When this place gets going, it's electric. We do have wonderful fans; our fans are amazing.

"We would love to take it back and bring home a winner. I love the way this team is playing right now."

The crowd burst into laughter after Ford made his comments, per ESPN's Michael Rothstein.

According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, a Lions spokesman said Ford was "joking" when he made his comment about the Bears. 

However, Birkett observes the comments were made just two days after Lions head coach Jim Schwartz took exception to a late hit on wide receiver Kris Durham's back by Chicago linebacker Jon Bostic.  

Schwartz vented out to the media in the aftermath of the game and said the Lions were on the short end of "a hundred holding calls" in addition to the officials allegedly missing the late hit call on Bostic, per CBS Detroit's Ashley Dunkak. 

Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who was fined $100,000 by the NFL for his illegal low block on Minnesota Vikings center John Sullivan in Week 1, was asked by Birkett to comment on Ford's statement.

"I really don't know what happened in that situation. I know Mr. Ford's obviously a big fan of all of his players and he said for himself that he's let this team be in the hands of obviously Coach Schwartz and the front office and he just really wants to sit back and be a true fan.

"That's exciting to see your ownership that's all 100 percent behind you no matter what in all situations. So it does mean a lot if that's actually what was said." 

The Lions went on to beat the Bears 40-32 to improve to 3-1 through Week 5 of the 2013 NFL season. 


Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.


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