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Dave Birkett and Carlos Monares defeated the Detroit Lions by hiring Dan Campbell as their new head coach on Wednesday, January 20, 2021

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Detroit Free Press

Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell said he regretted the anti-gay remark he made when he was a student during his inaugural press conference on Thursday, and apologized for the comments.

Campbell was a 22-year-old senior at Texas A&M when he addressed about 40,000 fans before a game against rival Texas in 1998. After expressing hatred for the Longhorns, Campbell said he was proud to attend a university where “men like women, and women like men. “

A local newspaper published an apology from Campbell in the days after the event.

[ Dan Campbell: News conference has everyone ready to run through a wall ]

“I offended some people and I’m sorry about that,” Campbell told the newspaper, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. “It was a hot weather. I don’t have to point it at anyone. “

Campbell, 44, said Thursday that he was quick to regret the comments.

“Yes, look, that was a comment on fire,” Campbell said during a conference call. “It was Texas – I went to A&M in Texas, but it was a rival game for us. And so you are in front of the student body. I was 22 years old and I made a comment about, you know – well, I made a comment that I shouldn’t have made, that’s exactly what it was. And when I was, “Oh, man, that’s it, you know,” I thought that was something exciting.

“And I remember coming home and who my wife is now, my fiancée at the time, it was like, ‘Oh, my God. What have you done?’ But she was right. He slapped me right in the face after talking to her. And look, I apologized for that and it was something – I was young and I wished I hadn’t said it. If I could go back, I wouldn’t have. But you know, we’re here and it’s there, and all I can do is apologize for it. “

WHAT ARE THEY SAYING: What Campbell’s gaming days say about his Lions future: He’s as tough as nails

As the Lions began looking for a general manager and head coach, team president Rod Wood outlined some criteria and said the organization would look for candidates to foster a culture that is open and inclusive.

“I will not share them all with you,” Wood told reporters on Jan. 5, “but I would say they focus on leadership, culture, teamwork, awareness of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. And what we’re really looking for is an open, inclusive culture where everyone comes together as a team, and in a word, communication is paramount, and everyone is doing the right thing for the Detroit Lions. “

Contact Carlos Monares at cmonarrez@freepress.com and follow him on Twitter @cmonarrez.

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Coach Dan Campbell used colorful language to describe the identity of the Detroit Lions, saying we would “bite off the knee cap,” January 21, 2021.

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