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Kirk Morrison A CAPTAIN SPOTLIGHT

Kirk Morrison is a former linebacker who played eight seasons in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills.

Morrison is one of nine captains who assists The Trust with impacting the lives of former NFL players as they transition out of the league. He currently lives in Los Angeles, CA.

What was your transition like when you retired from the NFL?

Going into my eighth year is when my transition started. I had done everything that I could’ve done in terms of training camps and practicing. I remember going into the final days of training camp and being so nervous. After year eight I knew there was a possibility that I wouldn’t be playing in the NFL if I didn’t get an offer that I liked or felt comfortable with.

I knew I wasn’t going to be on a training camp roster at the start of the season, so I auditioned for a couple of gigs in media. One company asked if I was retired and I didn’t really know how to answer the question. I wasn’t retired, but I also hadn’t gotten an opportunity I wanted. I spoke with my wife, my agent, and a few of my friends in the media industry to get their opinions. My football agent said “You’re at a point in your career where you know the situation. Either you’re going to sign late or not at all.” Opportunities in media don’t come around too often and rarely twice, so I had to make a decision. I spoke to my wife again and she asked, 'Do you want to play, or do you need to play?' I wanted to play; I love it but in reality, I didn’t need to play.

I wasn’t retired, but I also hadn’t gotten an opportunity I wanted.

I made the decision to retire in August 2013 and opportunities started to manifest themselves within the first year.

Kirk morrison welcomes teammates to raiders alumni day.

What is the single most important factor in a successful transition?

Patience. I have a criminal justice degree and wanted to possibly be a probation officer, fireman, or police officer. I had so many different ideas and I think sometimes what happens with some guys during their transition is they feel they need to do everything right now. The issue with it is, you may end up doing something you may not be passionate about.

Even with me, my transition isn’t over- its ongoing. Wherever you are right now, like the late rapper Nipsey Hussle said, “The marathon continues.” Likewise, the transition continues.

...like the late rapper Nipsey Hussle said, 'The marathon continues.' Likewise, the transition continues.

What are you doing now?

I work on SiriusXM NFL radio which is on the NFL’s football channel. I do a ton of work with them and have covered the last five Superbowl’s and conference championship games. I also work for ESPN Los Angeles as a broadcaster and I am a Los Angeles Ram GameDay Pre-Game & Post-Game Host. In addition, I am a college football broadcaster for ESPN College Football. Lastly, I am a Trust Captain, as well as a fill-in host for other radio/tv opportunities.

What is the importance of staying connected with others after you retire from football?

Once you play in the NFL, you automatically fall into a fraternity. When you are around former NFL players, it’s so reminiscent.

When players retire, we are always asked “Do you miss the game?” Yes, we miss the game, but eight out of 10 guys will tell you they miss the locker room more than anything. Being around other players, the conversations, cracking jokes, telling stories – this is what we miss. We spent more time with each other than we did our own families.

Being around other players, the conversations, cracking jokes, telling stories – this is what we miss.

Why should former players attend one of The Trust’s events?

The Trust’s events, like the Captain’s Events, have become a meeting ground for former players. We are all connected in some way. When you attend an event, you talk to other players about the special moments you had on the field, the coaches you’ve had, former teammates, etc.

The games are going to fade, but the respect you’ve earned will never be forgotten.

LOOKING BACK ON YOUR PLAYING CAREER, WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT?

The proudest moment for me is when you hear your name and someone says, “That dude was one hell of a linebacker!” It makes you feel like the legacy you left on the field was of a guy who gave everything he had. The games are going to fade, but the respect you’ve earned will never be forgotten.

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