Detroit Lions president says he supports players, they're entitled to free speech

Posted at 12:20 PM, Sep 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-25 14:43:56-04

Detroit Lions President Rod Wood said he stands by the players, saying they're all individuals entitled to their opinions and free speech, at a press conference on Sunday.

Wood said it was "unfortunate" to be talking about this and not football.

"I know our players, they're great guys, they're great members of the community and they do great work every day," he said. "We just wanted to get something out to support them and get back to talking about football."

He said he thinks the players know he supports them, and he does not know what they plan to do on Sunday's game.

Wood said he stands with Martha Ford's statement denouncing President Trump's comments on firing NFL players who kneel during the national anthem.

"I think the statement stand for itself," he said. "A lot of owners have come out with statements. We'll see what happens around the rest of the league."

Wood said whatever the players decide to do is up to them.

"As I said, we support the players."

He also discussed Lions Coach Jim Caldwell's contract extension, although he would not comment on the terms of the contract, only saying it was a multi-year extension.