Former NFL wide receiver Rishard Matthews was never a massive star, but the seventh-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft definitely exceeded expectations. After playing for the University of Nevada and catching passes from quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Matthews spent seven seasons playing for the Miami Dolphins and Tennessee Titans before finishing last season with the New York Jets. In 2019, he signed with the New Orleans Saints, but he will never play a regular season snap for the team.
On August 10, Rishard Matthews voluntarily chose to leave Saints training camp. The franchise cut him (obviously), to which head coach Sean Payton responded, “It’s not for everyone.” Two days later, Matthews retired from the NFL at 29 years old.
So why in the hell did a seven-year veteran decide to trash the National Football League in an Instagram post? Your guess is as good as mine.
In an outpouring of emotion, Matthews titled his retirement speech “No Longer Exist” in which he called out numerous aspects of the game that paid him millions of dollars.
Here are a few highlights of what “no longer exists” for Matthews.
“Beating your body up over and over for groups of people that give out a small [percentage] of the earnings”
“The brainwashing and dividing of culture for a small piece of jewelry”
“Being around too much ego to even understand that someone has the same skin as you”
“People using me for entertainment and not understanding that I am a black man in America”
“Being around just pure fakeness”
“All the people that never talk to you then hit you up for tickets”
Matthews added that he “will always be a fan of the best sport in the world” despite the “kids game” no longer existing in his life.
His career finishes with 230 catches for 3,160 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns. Matthews’ best season came in 2016 when he set career-highs across the board playing with Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota. One year later, Matthews infamously said that he would quit playing football if he was required to stand during the national anthem.
After making that statement in October 2017, Matthews caught just 38 passes in his final two seasons.
Rishard Matthews Career Earnings
Despite the “brainwashing” that Rishard Matthews claims runs rampant in the NFL, he sure was paid handsomely for his services. His biggest payday came after signing a three-year deal to join the Titans in 2016, and Rishard Matthews’ career earnings have netted him $14.7 million, according to Spotrac.
That’s one hell of a career for an NFL player selected 227th out of 253 possible draft picks.
Maybe Matthews began to slow down and playing in the fast-paced Saints offense during training camp and the first preseason game — he caught one pass for seven yards — was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Maybe Matthews’ crusade as a social justice warrior needed one final moment in the sun.
Regardless, he’s going to fade away as another professional football player who was “brainwashed” into making millions of dollars that changed his life forever.
Man, what a rough life.