Ricardo Lockette and Herman Taylor talked about the Harvard Football Players Health Study and what NFL players should do to prepare for life after football.
Back in 2015, former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette was forced to retire from the game he loved after sustaining a scary neck injury in a game against the Dallas Cowboys, which resulted in a five-hour surgery just to stabilize the area.
Now, the former Super Bowl champion is on a mission to spread positivity and help his fellow NFL players start thinking about life after football.
“You want to start planning as soon as you enter the NFL, start planning your exit,” he told FanSided’s Mark Carman in the build-up to Super Bowl 54 in Miami this weekend. “And that’s something that I wish I could go back, because I started that toward the latter part of my career and it ultimately helped me.”
Teaming up with cardiologist Herman Taylor, Lockette is part of the Harvard Football Players Health Study, a comprehensive research program that aims to help make the game safer and address the wellbeing and health of former NFL players. It is the largest study ever conducted of former players.
“The thing about our study is that from day one it has involved players and using player wisdom to prioritize how we’re going to use resources in researching things that are relevant to the players’ quality of life after football,” Taylor said.
Lockette said he wishes he were a bit busier these days, spending most of his time with his kids and trying to figure out his next steps, but Taylor believes he’s been a tremendous benefit to the program.
“I’ve been impressed at how wise a man he is at such a tender age,” Taylor said. “I’ve asked him about that multiple times in multiple ways and I’ve concluded that this is God’s gift to Ricardo. He approaches life with a certain positivity that I think lends to the resilience that this guy has. He’s come back from a really tough situation and he’s making the most of it, and in addition to that, he’s committed to helping other people. It’s an incredible story and we’re very fortunate in the Harvard Football Players Health Study to have him as one of our key advisors.”
Over the course of the interview, Lockette also touched on trying to educate players (and people in general) to think about the endgame when it comes to any profession, his thoughts on Pete Carroll and how he wishes he could’ve been more active with his advocacy during his playing days, back when he had a larger platform.
Ricardo Lockette and Herman Taylor spoke with FanSided on behalf of the Harvard Football Players Health Study.