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Sheila Ford Hamp 'would completely support' Lions signing Kaepernick

It was a milestone day for the Ford family, as Sheila Ford Hamp took on principal ownership and chairwoman duties from her mother Martha Firestone Ford, who stepped down from the role Tuesday.

Along with those duties came an introductory press conference and questions regarding how the Lions will handle potential player protests during the season and if she would welcome signing Colin Kaepernick.

Hamp minced no words in lending her support to her players' right to peacefully protest and her coaching and management if they chose to sign Kaepernick.

"If our coaches and our general manager all thought it was a good idea to bring him in, I would completely support that," Hamp said during a conference call.

Heading into 2020, longtime starter Matthew Stafford is expected to return from injury as the Lions starting quarterback with free-agent signee Chase Daniel likely as the backup and David Blough as the third-stringer.

Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2016 -- the year in which he began kneeling during the national anthem to protest and call attention to police brutality and social injustice.

Since the May 25 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis while in police custody, protests and a renewed call to action for racial equality and addressing police brutality have spread through the United States -- and beyond. In addition, calls for Kaepernick to re-enter the league and a team to sign him have grown.

Thus, Hamp voiced her support of signing Kaepernick, as well as her backing of her players following suit with protests.

"I think the understanding is completely different now. I mean, I think, people, I mean most people really understand what the kneeling was all about," Hamp said. "I know that the commissioner has said, and I completely agree, that we support our players' right to peaceful protest. We support the First Amendment. I think this is really, finally, finally, thank goodness, gotten national attention. That this is a serious problem and we as an organization plan to listen to our players and support them any way we can."

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