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The musings of a Detroit-area sportswriter in the digital age.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lions players don't know where their paycheck comes from

What is the deal with the Lions organization and the Ford Family allowing players to advertise with auto companies besides Ford?
First, it was Pro Bowl wide receiver Calvin Johnson for Acura. While it's understandable the Lions wouldn't want to give him another reason not to re-sign after next season, the Ford Family has to have some respect for itself.
What a slap in the face this is. Sure, I've never signed anything prohibiting a deal with the Detroit Free Press or News, but I still wouldn't do it. It's also common practice reporters can't write for competing media. This is just common sense, which is what Johnson should have used when Acura came calling. He should know by now where his paychecks come from.
Then, just last week, Chrysler announced it was going to attempt to get the same dynamic punch in sales the Lions' defensive line got from Ndamukong Suh, featuring him in their ads. That was an even bigger blow in my mind, because Chrysler is another brand in the Detroit Three — what I would consider more direct competition than Acura's parent company Honda.
The Lions told Don Shane from WXYZ-7 at the time there was nothing in a player's contract to forbid shilling for an adversary. There doesn't need to be. It should just be common sense.


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