Rishard Matthews is not here for anyone who knows him as simply a football player.
The former Tennessee Titans wide receiver wrote Monday in a lengthy Instagram post he titled “No Longer Exist” that his NFL career – and all the good and bad that goes with it – is finished. And it’s clear that for all the good he experienced there was just as much – if not more – bad.
“The game has given me and family so much but that No Longer Exist,” he wrote, in part.
“… The endless training and hours away from my family No Longer Exist,” he continued. “The brainwashing (and) dividing of culture for a small piece of jewelry No Longer Exist. … People using me for Entertainment and not understanding that i Am a Black Man in America No Longer Exist. Being around just pure Fakeness No Longer Exist.
“The crowds cheering No Longer Exist. The Touchdowns, Big Catches, Fun Times No Longer Exist.
“… I am thankful to have become financially free but that income No Longer Exist. It was cool being a Professional Football Player and getting to play a kids game for work i will always be a fan of the best sport in the world but for me that Kids game No Longer Exist.”
Matthews played eight seasons in the NFL, including two-plus with the Titans. He asked for, and was granted, his release from Tennessee last September after he had three receptions for 11 yards in the first three games.
After four seasons with Miami, he signed a free agent deal that brought him to Tennessee in 2016. He led the team in touchdown receptions in 2016 and 2017 with nine and four, respectively. In 2016, he tied for the team lead with 65 receptions and led all Titans with 945 receiving yards. The next season he was third in receptions (53) and second in receiving yards (795).
Less than a year ago the Titans signed him to a contract extension that included a club option for 2019. Instead, he finished last season with the New York Jets.
Now he is just finished.