In a groundbreaking announcement, the Detroit Lions declared that their upcoming Week 3 showdown against the Atlanta Falcons at Ford Field will be the NFL’s first-ever “Women in Football” game. Slated for a 1 p.m. EST kickoff and sponsored by Comerica Bank, the game aims to celebrate the significant roles women have played in shaping the sport.

“There are few things I am more passionate about than Women in Football,” said Sheila Hamp, Detroit Lions Principal Owner & Chair. “It’s an honor to stand alongside these women not only on this gameday, but every day.”

A Comprehensive Celebration of Women in Football

The Lions have lined up a series of activities for the game day to honor and elevate women’s involvement in football. The events include pregame panel discussions, halftime recognitions, and in-game programming that accentuates the essential roles women hold as players, coaches, and leaders.

The panel discussion will feature key voices like NFL Senior Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Sam Rapoport, and Women’s National Football Conference Founder/CEO Odessa “OJ” Jenkins. The discussion aims to focus on inclusivity within the sport and will be moderated by NFL Network’s MJ Acosta-Ruiz.

Antoinette Harris, a Detroit-native and the first woman to secure a full college football scholarship as a skill position player, will co-host the Ford Field pregame show with Detroit Lions Team Reporter Dannie Rogers. Harris will also kick off the game as its honorary captain.

Saluting a Hometown Hero

In addition to the array of activities lined up, Sunday’s “Women in Football” game will also feature a special “Hometown Hero” segment. Former United States Army Military Intelligence Officer Christine Dorfler, who now serves as the NFL’s chief financial officer, will be present on the field to recognize and honor a select individual for their brave military service to the nation. This gesture adds to the myriad of ways the Detroit Lions are celebrating women’s multifaceted contributions, both in and out of football.

Lions Leading the Charge in Women’s Football

Earlier this year, the Detroit Lions were pioneers in launching Michigan’s first girls high school flag football pilot league. “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,” said Hamp.

Executive VP and General Manager, Brad Holmes, also echoed these sentiments in a pre-draft press conference where he sported a hoodie proclaiming, “Support Women and Girls in Sports.”

“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.

Contributing to the Community

The Lions will also be donating $50,000 to the community with the objective of increasing female participation in football. This financial contribution underlines the Lions’ ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion in sports.

For those interested in learning more, all details can be found at the Detroit Lions’ official website:

The Detroit Lions’ initiative in hosting the “Women in Football” game solidifies the organization’s commitment to being at the forefront of women’s involvement in sports.


For more from our Detroit Lions beat writer, Matt Broder, check him out on Twitter here: @mattbro21


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By Published On: September 21st, 2023Categories: Detroit Lions, NFL

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