DETROIT, Mich. — Inside the war room during the NFL draft in 2021, new Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell asked team president Rod Wood when the black uniforms would return.

“When you win the division,” Wood responded.

Fresh off their first division title in three decades, the Lions will be back in black this season as an alternate uniform.

After falling one game shy of making their first Super Bowl appearance in 2023, the Lions will tap into their past with the infamous black uniforms now making their return.

The Lions officially unveiled the new look during an exclusive event for season-ticket holders on Thursday at Ford Field.

“It’s a new attitude. It’s a new style and it’s our style,” Campbell said. “So, with that, the jerseys come out with it.”

In 1948, Detroit introduced a new black uniform then brought it back in 2005 as an alternate jersey, featuring Honolulu Blue numbers with silver and white trim but shied away from the on-field look completely after 2007.

The new black jerseys can be paired with either black pants or the team’s blue pants, while the blue numbers feature a silver outline with “LIONS” across the chest.

The alternate matte blue helmets will now feature a black leaping Lions logo trimmed in silver.

“All I’ve gotta say is I’m going to start a petition so we can wear these bad boys for every home game,” said Lions great Calvin Johnson before cheers during the event. “It’s beautiful. This goes back to the Reeboks we wore back in the day. They’re bringing back the block numbers with a new fresh modern style.”

The Lions’ original plan was to roll out the jerseys during the exclusive presentation, but the jerseys were leaked online early Thursday in a now-deleted ad post.

The organization playfully responded to the news through a prerecorded video on X — formerly known as Twitter — that featured defensive tackle Alim McNeill.

“Whoever leaked the uniform video, we appreciate it,” McNeill said. “We appreciate you ruining all the hard work we put in. Video coming soon.”

McNeill was also on-site during the event to unveil the updated road uniforms while second-year tight end Sam LaPorta sported the revamped primary blue jersey, which features a blue and white stripe that ties to the jersey sleeves. Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders was also in attendance and shared the stage with LaPorta.

“They’re nice. They’re cool. Love it. A little bit of a touch from the past with something new and exciting,” Sanders said. “It’s fitting that we’re looking at how the Lions start to turn over a new leaf and it’s almost fitting that they have new uniforms.”

Lions safety Kerby Joseph modeled the black threads across the grand stage in their home stadium.

“Honestly, blue is my favorite color, but I feel like this blue is unique. I feel like it’s really something about the richness of it,” Joseph said. “It really pops. So, I know when we go out there on the field, it will really pop and really stick out.”

There was a ton of excitement throughout Ford Field as hundreds of fans showed up to watch the presentation from the stands. Detroit will also host its first NFL draft next week.

Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp drew cheers as she expressed her goal in the new threads for next season.

“One of the goals of 2024 is that at the end of the season, we will be hoisting the [Lombardi] trophy,” she said.


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