Former Lions WR Takes Shot At Front Office: "I Don't Agree" With How They Treat Players

"They tried to have too much control over the coaches and players."

97.1 The Ticket
December 03, 2019 - 12:53 pm
Lions

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Former Lions wide receiver Jace Billingsley, who left football in 2018 to pursue a career in music, made waves last week when he depicted Lions president Rod Wood and general manager Bob Quinn wearing clown noses in the music video to his first single. 

Why the slight? 

"I don’t agree with a lot of the ways they ran the organization. I believe they tried to have too much control over the coaches and players, and I think they make many decisions that have their own interests prioritized over what is best for the team," Billingsley told the Free Press

If it sounds like a player bitter over being cut, Billingsley said, "The fact that they cut me has nothin' to do with (it)." He added, “I should’ve played better." 

Quinn and the Lions signed Billingsley as an undrafted free agent out in 2016. He spent most of his time on the practice squad over the next two seasons, before the Lions released him prior to last season. Wracked by injuries, Billingsley made the switch to music last year, calling it a "more meaningful path for me to at least attempt.”

He released the video to his first single, Battle Born, last week. As the photo of Wood and Quinn appears, Billingsley sings, "Spent a couple years chasing that crowd noise and saw I don't belong with them soft uptown boys."

“Someone else kind of came up with that idea, said they saw it done before. I was like, might as well run from it. I don’t like bashing people and I’m not necessarily trying to bash those guys, but I don’t agree with a lot of the way that they treat the players," Billingsley said. "I just think that they could have conducted their business a little better.

"But it is a business, and that’s part of it, so I guess maybe I’m taking more of a shot at just how football becomes a business and it’s not a sport where everyone’s playing as a team. So that was part of that reason.”

Wood, Quinn
© Screengrab from YouTube.com, Detroit Free Press via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Billingsley clarified he "really didn’t have much interaction with” Wood during his time with the Lions.

"I’m not trying to bash these guys too bad ... they’re doing what they do, but there’s a lot of deceit in it,” Billingsley said. “I think overall it’s more about just people that take business over the top and prioritize that over other things that are actually meaningful.”