Retired Seahawk receiver Ricardo Lockette said Monday in an interview on the NFL Network that he isn't bitter toward football for the injury that ended his career and also recounted the moments after the hit in Dallas last Nov. 1.
Ricardo Lockette, a receiver for the Seahawks who announced his retirement from the NFL last week due to a neck injury suffered on Nov. 1 at Dallas, said in an interview with the NFL Network Monday night that he has no bitterness towards the game of football while also giving some details of the play that ultimately ended his career.
The interview was conducted by another former Seahawk, Michael Robinson, with whom Lockette was a teammate in Seattle in 2011 and 2013.
Here are highlights of the interview as provided by the NFL Network.
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On his career in the NFL: “As I tell my kids and the kids in the neighborhood, I don’t do this for trophies – I do it for the groceries. I do it to feed my family, I do it to inspire others.”
On the play where he got injured: “I give him a move to the inside to get him off and we’re kind of fighting and we’re running, we’re fighting and we’re running, and I’m like, ‘OK, I got him.’ Got him off of me and I look to my left. It’s like a car wreck. It was like everything was in slow motion and I’m lying on the ground and I can’t feel anything. I can just move my eyes. So I’m just lying on the ground and I’m just praying. I said, ‘Lord please, if you give me another chance I’ll change my life and I’ll change others’ as well, and I’ll dedicate my life to that.’ Not to be super spiritual but after that tingling started to come back in my toes and then it worked from my toes to my fingers.”
On if anyone from the Cowboys reached out to him: “I talked to [Jeff] Heath that night. He called me. He actually called the hospital room and I told him I said don’t worry about it. I said you’re a warrior, you’re a dog like I’m a dog. We play the game with a passion and you continue to do that, you continue to feed your family. Don’t worry about me.”
On if he saw the play as a dirty hit: “No. It’s football. I know what I signed up for and that’s just what comes with it. I don’t want anybody feeling sorry for me. I don’t blame anybody for what happened to me.”
On who stayed with him in the hospital that night in Dallas: “The night of the injury in Dallas Marshawn [Lynch] stayed with me. [He had me laughing] the whole time. I’m trying to keep my neck still and he’s laughing and just being typical him.”
On what it felt like having his teammates around watching him say goodbye to football: “Hearing you say that football is over, in my mind it’s never over because I’m always around you guys. But it’s really over. And now what do I do?”
On if he has any bitterness towards football: “For me to sit here and say that I’m bitter would be a slap in the face to God and everyone who supported me and people who believe in me and the people who I will encourage because I don’t want them to be bitter so I’m not going to be bitter.”
On if he feels the NFL is taking the appropriate measures to make sure that players are safe on the field: “I would like to think so. But I always feel like there is something you could do better. There’s always more. There’s always something we could do to make the game a little safer.”
On football: “The game has taken a lot from me. But what it hasn’t taken is my confidence, it hasn’t taken my family away from me and I think those are the most important things in life. Football is a game and I’m going to tell you right now that there is more. There’s more. It is a brighter day and all you have to do is take the first step and the people around you will help you take the other one.”