Last week, the Detroit Lions asked a season-ticket holder to surrender his tickets after he disparaged African-American fans near him during the team’s home opener on Snapchat, calling them “ignorant [racial slur]” because they sat during the anthem.
The tickets, of course, would wind up in someone else’s hands, but one fan asked the team if he could buy them and let the tickets go to a better cause.
Andy Morse, a 30-year old from Warren, Michigan, approached the team and asked if he could buy the tickets and let charities around Wayne County, where Detroit is located, use them. The Lions, who generally would have offered to move another season-ticket holder into the seats, agreed.
Morse explained his decision and plan to ESPN reporter Michael Rothstein.
“I was pretty disturbed by that post, by what I saw,” Morse said. “I thought to myself, man, this makes all of the Lions’ fan base look kind of horrible and that kind of bothered me. Realistically, as soon as I saw that they had revoked his tickets, I was glad they did that, number one.
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“Then I thought to myself, what do they do with these tickets? Do they just go back into circulation? The more I thought about that, I thought that these specific seats, these guys’ seats, should really be going somewhere where we can kind of overwrite the negative that he had caused with possibly some positives.”
The tickets, which are behind one of the end zones in the lower bowl of the stadium, cost around $1,500.
Morse has specific rules for groups that can receive the tickets: the organization must be a 501c3 or “receiving services from an established nonprofit organization.” It must work with or help boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 18 and it must either be based in or provide services to Wayne County.
The seats will be donated to a different charity each week, and Morse insists that children being helped by the charity, who might otherwise not get to go to an NFL game, are in the seats.
A group called Alternatives for Girls will be the first recipients; the remainder have not yet been decided.
Morse, who is a small-business owner and has his own Lions season tickets, said he’s had people reach out to him to help pay for the new pair of tickets, but he declines and instead asks them to donate to the charities that will be chosen for the games.
“I’ve actually had a ton of people reaching out because they want to help,” Morse said. “That’s really the greatest part about all of this.”
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