For many athletes, retirement is a tough transition from the spotlight. Sometimes depression or contemplations of a comeback follow the decision. That’s not the case for two-time Super Bowl champion Justin Tuck, who joined The Jim Rome Show on Friday.
“Everybody asks me do I miss it, I really don’t,” Tuck said. “I miss the teammates, I miss the comradery between guys, but all the other stuff, all the bumps and bruises and running out there and trying to figure out ways to run around 340-pound beasts, I don’t miss it all.”
Tuck said even when the 2016 season kicked off, he wasn’t missing game day and said when he made up his mind to walk away last February, that was it.
“The reason why I was comfortable in retirement, I just knew it was my time. It was perfect timing for me,” Tuck said. “If I had any doubts about that timing, I would probably still be playing, but when I woke up that morning and realized that I could no longer give 100 percent of myself to the preparation that was needed to be the football player I wanted to be, I knew it was time.
“I never wanted to be the player or the guy that was cheating the game. If I couldn’t give my teammates, that organization I was playing for 100 percent, I wasn’t going to be out there, and when I woke up that morning and realized that was the case, it made my decision pretty easy.”
Tuck also talked about Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players’ national anthem protest over the country’s oppression of black and people of color.
“I think its part of the fabric that what America was actually built on, having freedom of speech, having the opportunity to utilize your platform for positive change,” Tuck said. “And I get why there’s some backlashes, and I get why some people support it. I can see both sides of it, but I think it’s a positive because it opens… I think what Colin is trying to do is open the conversation about what’s going on in our country, and I think that’s one of the bad things about our country that I don’t think we talk about sensitive and hard topics enough within our communities.
“This is a very difficult situation to talk about from all perspectives.”
However, the two-time Pro Bowler made it clear that he’s not against those in uniform.
“A lot of times, the number one thing people say is you’re against cops and/or you’re against law enforcement. That’s absolutely not the case,” Tuck said. “I am against injustice. I am against shooting an unarmed man with his hands up. I am against that.” Tuck added that he wouldn’t support Kapernick’s stance if his protest was violent or negative, saying, “He’s using his platform to promote a change in something that is completely wrong in our country in the United State of America, so I’m for it I am.”
When asked if he were still playing would he join the national anthem protest, Tuck wasn’t sure.
“You know, I don’t know. Because I love this country and I’m very much so indebted to those people that have given their lives to open up opportunities that I do have, so it would be tough,” Tuck said. “I think my stance on it would be I wouldn’t want to do it individually, because I could use that NFL platform in a lot of ways to promote something that I want to promote, but I would probably call a team meeting and make sure that my team was on board before I do something individually. That’s probably the only change I would make sure as far as Colin. I love what Seattle was doing, as far as whatever they were going to do was going to be a total team thing.”