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NFL Owner Is Stepping Down, Being Replaced By Daughter

A view of a New York Jets field goal during a game against the Detroit Lions.

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 10: General view during a New York Jets field goal in the second half against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on September 10, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

A principal NFL owner is stepping down from her position ahead of the 2020 regular season, the team announced today.

The Detroit Lions announced on Tuesday morning that Martha Firestone Ford is stepping down as the principal owner of the franchise. She's been the majority owner of the team since 2014, when her husband, William, died at age 88.

Martha Ford is being replaced by her daughter, Sheila Ford Hamp. She has been active in the NFL community for years and has been preparing for this transition.

The Detroit Lions announced the official move on Twitter.

"It has been a great honor for our family to be associated with the Lions and with the National Football League. I am gratified that this family tradition, which my husband and I began almost six decades ago, will continue under Sheila's guiding hand. It is clear to me that Sheila will provide superb leadership and is fully committed to competitive excellence and community involvement," Martha Firestone Ford said in a statement.

Sheila Ford Hamp, meanwhile, is excited about her new challenge.

"My mother has inspired all of us since taking on leadership of the Lions over six years ago. She has been a tireless leader to our family, our team and our community. Her smart decisions have given me a solid foundation to take the team forward. On behalf of the family and the team, I want to thank her for her countless contributions. I look forward to leading the Lions to excellence on and off the field," she said.

The Lions are coming off a 3-12-1 season in 2019. Detroit is hoping to contend for the playoffs in 2020.