Statements on William Clay Ford Sr.'s passing

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell

"For five decades, Mr. Ford's passion for the Lions, Detroit, and the NFL was the foundation of one of the NFL's historic franchises. As an NFL owner, Mr. Ford helped bring the NFL through enormous periods of change and growth, always guided by his commitment to what was best for the NFL and his beloved Lions. All of us in the NFL extend our heartfelt sympathy to Mr. Ford's wife Martha, Bill Ford, Jr. and the entire Ford family."

Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand

"It is with profound sadness that we mourn the loss of Mr. Ford and extend our deepest sympathies to Mrs. Ford and to the entire Ford family. No owner loved his team more than Mr. Ford loved the Lions. Those of us who had the opportunity to work for Mr. Ford knew of his unyielding passion for his family, the Lions and the city of Detroit.His leadership, integrity, kindness, humility and good humor were matched only by his desire to bring a Super Bowl championship to the Lions and to our community. Each of us in the organization will continue to relentlessly pursue that goal in his honor."

Mike and Marian Ilitch

"We are saddened by the passing of William Clay Ford, Sr. and extend our condolences to the entire Ford family, the Ford Motor Company, the Lions organization and all of his employees. He led with a memorable blend of class, dignity and unwavering commitment to our community and his legacy will always be a source of pride for our city, state and nation."

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan

"I was deeply saddened to learn about the passing of William Clay Ford, Sr., today.   Not only was Mr. Ford a titan in our business community; he has been one of Detroit's greatest supporters and philanthropists. His commitment to the city was never more evident than it was with his decision to move the Detroit Lions back downtown to the stadium that bears his family's name.  That vote of confidence in Detroit was an important piece of the redevelopment of downtown that has since taken place.Mr. Ford's compassion was equally evident in the many philanthropic causes he supported so generously over the years.  My heart goes out to his family and loved ones as they mourn their loss.  Mr. Ford's legacy surely will live on through his extraordinary family." 

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford

"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."

Detroit Pistons' owner Tom Gores

"I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to the Ford family and the Detroit Lions on the passing of Mr. William Clay Ford Sr.   The Detroit community has lost one of its true icons.  Mr. Ford was the definition of a leader in every facet of his life. His accomplishments in business, both in the automotive industry and in professional sports as the proud owner of the Lions, were exceeded only by his many civic and charitable contributions.  On behalf of the Gores family, and everyone at Platinum Equity, Palace Sports & Entertainment and the Detroit Pistons, our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Ford's family and both the Ford Motor Co. and Lions organizations."

New Orleans Saints

"William Clay Ford's impact on both the National Football League and the automotive industry have been significant. He had a great passion for both the city of Detroit and the Detroit Lions. Today, we mourn his passing. The entire NFL has lost a dear and valued friend. We extend our condolences to William's wife Martha and his entire family."