<
>

Tickets from racist Lions fan will be donated to charities

When the Detroit Lions revoked the season tickets of a fan who posted a racist Snapchat during the team's season opener against Arizona earlier this month, Andy Morse decided he needed to help.

The 30-year-old from Warren, Michigan, reached out to the Lions and asked a simple question: Could he buy the tickets and then use them every game to donate to charities across Wayne County -- the county Detroit is in.

"I was pretty disturbed by that post, by what I saw," Morse told ESPN on Wednesday morning. "I thought to myself, man, this makes all of the Lions' fan base look kind of horrible and that kind of bothered me. Realistically, as soon as I saw that they had revoked his tickets, I was glad they did that, number one.

"Then I thought to myself, what do they do with these tickets? Do they just go back into circulation? The more I thought about that, I thought that these specific seats, these guys' seats, should really be going somewhere where we can kind of overwrite the negative that he had caused with possibly some positives."

Typically, the Lions would have offered to move another season-ticket holder into the vacated seats -- which are in the east end zone of the lower bowl -- but when Morse reached out, the Lions agreed to let him purchase the seats instead for his idea.

Morse will give the pair of tickets, which cost around $1,500, to a charity each game with certain stipulations: The organization must be a 501c3 or "receiving services from an established nonprofit organization." It must work with or help boys and girls between age 5 and age 18 and it must either be based in or provide services to Wayne County.

The idea was also inspired by Morse's girlfriend, who works with an unnamed charity as an annual funds director. It's why, instead of donating the seats to a charity and then potentially having them sell the seats to make money, he is insisting they go to actual children who are being helped by the charity and not typically have the chance to go to a NFL game.

"I kind of wanted them to have a plan as far as what they were going to do with the tickets," Morse said.

Morse, who has Lions season tickets himself, said the Lions gave him the exact tickets vacated by the fan who posted the racist Snapchat. The first charity, Alternatives For Girls, will be given the tickets for Sunday's game against Atlanta. Alternatives For Girls "helps homeless and high-risk girls and young women avoid violence, teen pregnancy and exploitation" by offering support and access to areas for safety.

The rest of the charities have yet to be selected, but the plan is to give the tickets to a different group each game.

Morse, who owns SDC Service, a heating and cooling company, said other people have reached out to help him pay for the tickets because they were also bothered by the racist Snapchat, but he's told them to give money to the charities the tickets go to instead to help them out more.

"I've actually had a ton of people reaching out because they want to help," Morse said. "That's really the greatest part about all of this."