Lions honor Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders with statue at Ford Field

Posted at 7:25 PM, Sep 16, 2023

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Lions legend and Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders has his legacy permanently cemented in Detroit, as a statue to honor his legendary NFL career was unveiled late Saturday afternoon outside of Ford Field.

Sanders is the first Lions player with a statue outside the stadium. Along with the statue, Sanders was also honored with a video tribute, with words of admiration being shared from the likes of Billy Sims, Mike Gundy, Emmitt Smith, Marcus Allen, Dan Campbell, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jared Goff, and Rick Mahorn, among others.

"Thank you, Lions fans," Sanders said in a speech after the statue was unveiled. "I'm so blessed and fortunate to be in this position, to have this recognition and tribute."

Sanders also commended the artists, Omri Amrany and Lou Cella with Fine Art Studio Rotblatt Amrany, for their work on the statue. He was grateful for the honor, thanking "many at the forefront who made this happen", including Sheila Ford Hamp, Rod Wood, Campbell, Brad Holmes, Chris Spielman, and Wayne Fontes, among others.

Over 153 games in Silver and Blue, Sanders rushed for 15,269 yards and 99 touchdowns, being honored as a Pro Bowler every season of his 10-year career and as an First Team AP All-Pro running back six times. He helped lead the Lions to the playoffs in five of those seasons, including rushing for 69 yards and a score in the Lions last postseason victory following the 1991 regular season. He was inducted into the NFL's Hall of Fame.

You can watch the ceremony, including Barry's speech, in it's entirety above this article, or on WXYZ's facebook page.