Terry Crews is making some waves on Instagram, but they are waves that some of the fans commenting on his post seem to think need to be made. Crews played in the NFL from 1991-1997 in a career that began with the Rams and made stops with the Chargers and Redskins, before ending with the Eagles. He had workouts and played on the practice squads of other teams, such as the Packers. Since his playing days ended and he began his career in acting, Crews has spoken up on a number of issues, including the me too movement, and about the nature of playing in, and moving on from, the NFL.
According to Business Insider, Crews was dead broke when he left the NFL. Crews made decent money while he played in the league, but it wasn’t the kind of money that made him set for life. Crews knew he needed to save money during his playing days, but things never really worked out that way for him. According to Business Insider, in the period of time between his football career ending and his acting career beginning, he swept floors for a little while, because money was that tight.
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#TBT WOW. To all my @nfl peeps... there’s a way out...! Don’t let them feel like they are all you have. Don’t let them degrade your humanity. Don’t let them revel in their plantation fantasy teams. You are more than all of it. Play the game, play hard, but play for yourself— and play no games that you can’t win.
Now Crews has established himself as a bankable actor, most notably starring on Brooklyn Nine Nine right now, and his financial future looks much healthier. The experience of those down times prior to becoming financially secure is something that has prompted Crews to speak up on several occasions that the NFLPA, and the league itself, needs to do a better job of taking care of players. He has long alleged that the relationship between the NFL and its players is abusive, as reported at AFH.
“What you got to understand is what the NFL is. The NFL has an abusive relationship with its players. It’s an abusive relationship. It’s like a pimp and a prostitute. It’s really you never know if you’re really good. They could like (pretends to give a hard smack), you know. They give you a smack one day and the next day ‘You’re the best thing ever!’ These players are like, ‘Okay, am I good, or could I be out tomorrow?’ There’s no guaranteed contracts! You understand?… It’s an abusive relationship, you know why? Because they know you’re going to get hurt. It’s built in, so it’s an abusive relationship from the start!”
Crews has also spoken out regularly about the racial disparity between NFL players and owners and executives. He has also voiced support for Colin Kaepernick in the past, and the need for there to be an understanding that people have the right to peacefully protest, and that people need to understand the NFL isn’t life, and it isn’t the most important thing in the world, as expressed in his interview with Hot 97.