Kelly Stafford says her 5-year-old daughter "started crying on the field" over the treatment their family received from some fans at Ford Field before the Rams-Lions wild-card playoff game Sunday night.
On Tuesday's edition of her weekly podcast, the wife of Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford said she and their four daughters — ages 3 to 6 — were subjected to loud boos from the stands as they tried to navigate their way between sidelines on the field before the game.
“I had to explain to two of my daughters. Hunter started crying on the field," Kelly Stafford said. "Listen, this is not everybody. This is the fans that are the loudest. ... But that’s sports.
"But I will say one thing — we’re not playing the game. My girls and I are not playing the game. And I know my girls are not getting booed. I am. And I can handle it. But when I have my girls next to me there’s something to be said about maybe not."
Matthew Stafford was the Lions' quarterback for 12 seasons before being traded to the Rams following the 2020 season. While Stafford went on to win the Super Bowl during his first year in L.A., the Lions continued to search for their first playoff win since 1992.
On Sunday night, Kelly Stafford said, she visited with Lions owner/chair emeritus Martha Firestone Field on the field before the game, then she and the kids tried making their way toward the Rams side of the field.
That's when they received some rude treatment from Lions fans, Stafford said.
The day after the Rams' season-ending loss, Stafford posted on Instagram to call out "the fans who booed my children." But later on her podcast, Stafford said she realized that wasn't exactly the case and that she had explained that to her daughters in the moment.
"I took it as a teaching moment for my children. You know, Hunter’s in tears," she said. "I go, ‘Guys, they’re not booing you. They are not booing you. They are booing Mommy. They are very passionate and excited about this game. They want their Lions to win. We’re from the other team. And you know what? We’re gonna move on because there’s also fans in there that are cheering, that are saying thank you. But we’re not hearing that over the louder ones.'"
Stafford then shared with her co-hosts the response she received from another daughter, 6-year-old Sawyer.
"She goes, ‘But we’re not playing the sport.’" Stafford said. "Literally, that came out of her mouth. And I said, ‘That is very true, Sawyer, but ... they are not booing you. They are not booing your sisters. They are booing some of the things that have gone on in the past and we have to move past it. And we have to focus on the good.’"
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.