When Megatron Retired The Detroit Lions Did Him Dirty  

The Detroit Lions don’t take kindly to superstars abruptly retiring.

The ineptitude of the Detroit Lions franchise can rub anyone the wrong way. Fans and local sports prognosticators have been stuck in decades of mediocrity and worse. Over the past decade, the lone bright spot in an annual Lions pity party was Calvin Johnson.

Despite playing for a doomed franchise, Megatron rose to the height of his profession as the games elite wide receiver.

And then he abruptly retired in his prime on some Barry Sanders sh*t. Now he claims he was mistreated by Detroit’s organization after he decided to save himself some CTE.

At his football camp this week, Johnson told the Detroit Free Press that he was frustrated with how the team treated him when he announced his retirement after the 2015 season:

I don’t even like to talk Lions too much just because the way our relationship ended, Johnson said when asked about his No. 81 being retired. If they see me around here, well see. But hey, I don’t know.

Who does like the Lions?

I just didn’t feel like I was treated the way I should have been treated on the way out Johnson lamented. That’s all. I mean, it’s all good. I’m not tripping. I don’t feel any kind of way, just hey, that’s what they did. Hey, it is what is.

He obviously does feel a way, but Johnson didn’t offer any specifics. It’s probably connected to the fact that the team required him to return a portion of his signing bonus when he walked away with several years left on his contract. It’s the same thing they did to Barry Sanders.

Sure, they are within their contractual rights to do so, but what a way to thank the two greatest players in your franchise history. Its a reflection of how the Lions value their best players and how they show very little concern for their superstars beyond football.

Is it just a coincidence that the two most important Lions players in the last four decades both jumped ship and left millions on the table without ever winning a championship?

We can’t say for sure, but we can all read between the lines and assume that playing for the Lions is not conducive to ones physical, financial or mental health.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.