Rishard Matthews slams NFL in odd retirement tirade

It seems to be a decision that carries a message.

Former Jets wide receiver Rishard Matthews retired from the NFL on Tuesday in a long Instagram post, just as it seemed he had a chance to stick with the Saints out of training camp. Matthews, who played five games and had two catches for the Jets in the latter part of the 2018 season, posted a poem-like diatribe that he titled “No Longer Exist.” The first line of the caption read, “Rishard Matthews the football player No Longer Exist.”

Saints coach Sean Payton said that Matthews was released, adding only that “it’s not for everyone.” ESPN reporter Field Yates added that Matthews had a “left squad designation.”

On his way out, Matthews took some ambiguous shots at the NFL, deriding “the brainwashing & dividing of culture for a small piece of jewelry.” He also added some racial overtones, including “being around too much Ego to even understand that someone has the same skin as you,” along with, “people using me for entertainment and not understanding that I am a Black Man in America.”

Matthews, 29, had also played for the Dolphins and Titans, his best season coming in 2016 when he had 945 yards on 65 catches for Tennessee. The 6-footer out of Nevada also seemed to show some longing for what he called “the best sport in the world,” but he was not pleased with all the time away from his family, all the hangers-on asking for tickets, and the physical damage he was doing to himself.

“Beating your body up over and over for groups of people to give out a small % of the earning that they don’t even need for me No Longer Exist. . .” he wrote.