Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell facetiously said in a recent podcast interview he would love to have an actual lion on the sideline with him during practices and games.
Campbell made the statement during an appearance on Barstool Sports’ “Pardon My Take” this week. He made known that he didn’t think People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) would take too kindly to him having a lion with him.
“I don’t think we’re going to be able to do it, but I would love to literally just have a pet lion. Just a legit pet lion on a chain, a big-a-s chain, and he really is my pet,” he said. “We just walk around the building, we go out to practice, we’re at 7-on-7, we’re behind the kicker when he’s kicking. There we are.”
He added: “The problem is I don’t know if PETA’s going to allow that, though. It’s gonna be hard. Believe me, though, we would take great care of it. It would be fed well, it would be petted, it would be manicured. I might end up losing an arm because of it, but that would be even better because it would validate what, this is a freaking, this is a creature now. This is an animal. This thing, this is from the wild.”
PETA on Tuesday gave Campbell his very own lion – sort of.
The organization gave Campbell a stuffed lion named Dan Detroit to try and satisfy his desire for the animal.
“No lion belongs in a barren cage or on a chain,” PETA senior vice president Lisa Lange said in a statement, obtained by Fox News. “If Coach Campbell makes Dan Detroit part of the Lions’ entourage, he’ll help PETA spread the message that lions are wild animals, not mascots, props, or ‘pets.’”
PETA also wrote a letter to Campbell noting lions are wild animals and don’t belong anywhere near Ford Field.
“So while the Detroit Lions should remain the only lions at Ford Field, we thought we would send you an addition to your team: Meet Dan Detroit the Lion!” the letter read.
“Making Dan Detroit part of the Detroit Lions’ entourage will encourage an end to the abuse and exploitation of lions and other big cats as mascots or props and spare a wild animal a lifetime of suffering. He’s a symbol of support for all lions—both on the field and off.”
Campbell is entering his first season as Lions head coach.