The Seahawks’ Ricardo Lockette announces his retirement from football and says he wants to bring the same passion he had for football to underdogs — bullied children and abused women.

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Ricardo Lockette’s love of football, and reverence for the Seahawks, poured forth in every emotional utterance at his farewell news conference.

He talked eloquently of how much he’ll miss not just the action on the field, but the camaraderie that surrounds it. Like the pregame huddle, the entire squad connecting as one, jumping in unison as the crowd roars.

“Hair is standing up on my skin and chill bumps, but there’s no fear,’’ Lockette said, seemingly transporting himself back to the moment even as he sat at the podium, surrounded by family. “There’s no fear, and I’m looking at the guy I have to defeat, and he knows exactly what’s going to happen, I know exactly what’s going to happen, and I make it happen. That’s what I’m going to miss.”

Yet the decision by this self-proclaimed “dog” — his parlance for a fearless warrior on the gridiron — to leave the game was not difficult.

“No, because I love my family and I’d rather walk,’’ he said.

For Lockette, 29, it came down to one irrefutable reality that underscores the silent threat that hangs over every NFL player: Every play can be their final one. For Lockette, the last play turned out to be the vicious hit he took from Jeff Heath of the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 1, 2015.

It was the sort of play that had made Lockette a valued NFL player despite his modest credentials as a college player at Fort Valley State, that endeared him to his coaches, and earned him the undying respect of teammates who know all too well the inherent risk of a punt-team gunner.

But this time, the result was detached vertebrae that necessitated two titanium plates in his neck.

Despite hopeful talk by Lockette of returning to football and even making a Pro Bowl, there was really no decision to be made. Not if he wants to walk. Yet when Lockette reflects on the play — called “dirty” at the time by some teammates — he doesn’t blame Heath.

In fact, when Lockette spoke to Heath before undergoing surgery, Lockette expressed respect and told him, “Keep playing with the same passion. Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine.”

It takes a special breed to embrace a sport of such violence and inherent risk. Some would call it courageous, others foolhardy. But men like Lockette survive, and thrive, because they can keep the fear at bay and perform with impassioned spirit. That was a theme Lockette kept coming back to Thursday, the relentless drive that was his calling card.

“You never know when your last play is. You never know,’’ he said. “If there’s a man in front of you, he’s yours. Look him in his eyes, out-power him, out-man him, make the play, get the job done.”

Now he’ll take those qualities into his uncharted life after football. Lockette indicated he wants to help underdogs — children who have been bullied or women who have been abused. He knows his teammates — a large number of whom were in the auditorium to pay tribute, riveted by his words — will go on, undeterred by his fate.

“A lot of these guys in this room have hearts of lions …’’ he said. “We think and talk about stuff you can’t imagine. These guys in here aren’t my worries. My worries are the woman who’s in a shelter with her kids who doesn’t have anywhere to go. My worry is the guy who has a PhD degree that’s on the corner right now, that just needs a little confidence, a little help. Or that kid in school that’s being bullied or teased that could grow up to find a cure for cancer. That’s my focus.”

Surveying all the Seahawks personnel in the room, Lockette joked that he felt like he should be in tights, heading out to do some extra work. It took him awhile to come to terms with the fact that he wouldn’t be able to overcome this latest setback with dedication and perseverance.

“In my mind, I always felt like I was going to come back and play because I feel like I can’t be stopped,’’ he said. “I feel like I’m the greatest, fastest thing on the field, when I’m on the field.”

But to do that with plates in his neck would have been truly foolhardy for someone whose job on special teams basically was to sprint down the field with no regard for the consequences, hell bent on taking out the ball carrier. And who as a receiver had to venture over the middle, where punishing defenders lie in wait.

Such tasks can come with consequences, and for Lockette, those consequences were career-ending. But not spirit-quenching.

“There’s a lot of things that I can’t do, but what I can do is inspire and motivate,’’ he said, after proving just that.