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September 17, 2023: Barry Sanders Day

WHEREAS, Barry Sanders is a true football legend, and his extraordinary talents and contributions to the sport have earned him a special place in the hearts of Michiganders and football fans across the nation; and,

WHEREAS, as a running back for the Detroit Lions in the National Football League (NFL) from 1989 to 1998, Barry Sanders displayed unmatched skill, agility, and determination, earning numerous accolades and records; and,

WHEREAS, Barry Sanders’ record-breaking achievements include becoming the NFL's all-time leading rusher in a single season, recording an incredible 2,053 rushing yards in 1997, and finishing his career as the third all-time leading rusher in NFL history; and,

WHEREAS, Barry Sanders still holds numerous franchise rushing records and has the fourth-most rushing yards in NFL history, 15,269 yards. Sanders rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his 10 seasons with the Detroit Lions becoming the first running back ever to do so. He won the NFL's MVP award in 1997 and was named first-team All-Pro six times in his legendary career in Detroit.

WHEREAS, Barry Sanders' character, humility, and sportsmanship serve as a role model for aspiring athletes and demonstrate the values of hard work, perseverance, and humility; and,

WHEREAS, it is fitting to recognize and celebrate the outstanding achievements and contributions of Barry Sanders to the sport of football and the state of Michigan, as he becomes the first player in Lions history to be immortalized with an 8-foot bronze statue outside of Ford Field that will be unveiled outside ahead of the 2023 NFL season;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim September 17, 2023, as Barry Sanders Day in Michigan. On this day, Michiganders are encouraged to celebrate the achievements and lasting impact of Barry Sanders.