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Detroit Lions to host NFL's first "Women in Football" game dedicated to celebrating women in the sport

DETROIT – The Detroit Lions announced today their Week 3 regular season game at Ford Field against the Atlanta Falcons (Kickoff 1 PM) will be themed "Women in Football" to celebrate the countless ways in which women impact the game of football. The Women in Football game will be presented by Comerica Bank.

"There are few things I am more passionate about than Women in Football," said Detroit Lions Principal Owner & Chair Sheila Hamp. "My mother, my sisters, and I are thrilled that our organization will be the first team to honor the contributions that women have, and are continuing to make, to the game of football on every level. It's an honor to stand alongside these women not only on this gameday, but every day."

This Sunday during pregame, at halftime, and throughout the game, the Lions will have programming that shows the team's commitment to elevating women as players, coaches and leaders in football, and demonstrates how critical women are to drive the sport forward.

Lions Women in Football gameday elements will include a pregame panel discussion attended by participants of the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons girls flag football programs on the importance of inclusiveness within football, with a focus on getting more girls in the game featuring NFL Senior Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Sam Rapoport, Founder/CEO of the Women's National Football Conference, winningest Head Coach in women's tackle football history; Hall Of Famer, 7x National Champion and 2x USA Football Team Captain, 3x USA Gold Medalist Odessa "OJ" Jenkins, OL for Royal Oak High School football team the past four seasons Elly Finch and the NFL Vice President, Club Marketing Taryn Hutt. The panel will be moderated by NFL Network's MJ Acosta-Ruiz.

The Ford Field pregame show will be co-hosted by Detroit-native Antoinette Harris alongside Detroit Lions Team Reporter Dannie Rogers. Harris is the first woman to receive a full college football scholarship as a skill position player, was a four-sport college athlete, 2x Hall of Famer, current pro football player for the Women's National Football Conference and is an aspiring NFL analyst and broadcaster. She will also serve as the honorary captain of the game.

During the National Anthem, Lions Loyal Members will be on-field for a special Women in Football flag ceremony. Approximately one hundred young women who participated in the Detroit Lions High School Girls Flag Football pilot league will stand in front of the Lions sideline. Eleven participants in the Atlanta Falcons Girls Flag Football program and their coaches will be represented while standing in front of Falcons players on their sideline.

At halftime the Lions will recognize the Detroit Lions High School Girls Flag Football pilot league and recap the best moments from this past spring's matchups with team members from each of the four schools who participated in the program assembled on the field with their coaches. Each team/school will be presented with an award commemorating their status as one of the "founding four" and receive a grant from the Detroit Lions to fund growth of their individual girls flag football program. Additionally, the Lions will honor the work from the women on their full-time staff with a tribute video.

Sunday's presentation of Hometown Hero will feature former United States Army Military Intelligence Officer Christine Dorfler, currently serving as the NFL's chief financial officer, to assist with the on-field recognition of the game's honoree who was selected for their courageous military service to our nation.

Threaded throughout the matchup in-stadium, the Lions will honor Michigan women doing exceptional work to grow the sport and encourage youth participation in football, particularly amongst girls. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson will participate as a representative of the State of Michigan's Task Force on Women in Sports, which she chairs. With on-field awards and recognitions, the Detroit Lions will be giving $50,000 to the community with the intention to get more girls in the game.

Comerica Bank, as the presenting partner of the Detroit Lions Women in Football game, has a long history of championing women in business with their Women's Business Symposium, women's business resource group, women's forum employee resource group, and women in technology employee resource group focused on attracting, retaining, celebrating and encouraging women to pursue and rise in technology related careers.

Comerica has received numerous national and regional awards and recognition for the bank's commitment, which includes being recently named: Forbes Best Employers for Women, Forbes 2022 Best Employers in Michigan, DiveristyInc Noteworthy Company, Latina Style’s Best Companies for Latinas to Work, and Professional Woman’s Magazine 2023 Best of the Best.

"Behind the leadership of Mrs. Martha Firestone Ford and Sheila Ford Hamp, the Detroit Lions are true trailblazers for women in the game of football and in the community," said Megan Crespi, Comerica Bank Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. "We are honored to support this special presentation to recognize and highlight the impact made by women every day who are difference-makers, incredible leaders, exceptional mentors, and inspirations of success."

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