Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay had a pretty emotional media session in the locker room on Thursday, just 48 hours after the team traded away his teammate and personal friend Quandre Diggs.
Rather than take anything out of context, here is the transcript of Slay’s interview. Note: There is some profanity that is unedited.
How are you feeling about the Diggs trade?
“Shit. Like shit. Honestly, yeah. Hell yeah. About some shit.”
Can you explain why you’re feeling that way?
“Explain why? I mean, of course, we’ve been playing together five years. Shoot, team captain. So, I mean, for that to kind of happen, kinda crazy, you know, but I guess that’s the business part of it. Yeah, that was crazy, though.”
What are your thoughts on trading away a defensive captain?
“Aw, shit. Makes you say no matter who you are, no matter how much you put in, at the end of the day, it’s a business. So that’s how I just look at it. It’s like nobody’s safe, in my opinion.”
Does that give you any pause?
“Anybody can get traded. I personally wouldn’t care, (that’s what) I’m personally feeling. It’s like I said, it’s a business and I wouldn’t even care. It is what it is. Go on about the next day.”
You wouldn’t care because you want out of here?
“No, it don’t look like that. I’m just saying it’s just a business part of it just doing that. It don’t matter, they’re making choices out there so you just gotta live and deal with it.”
Does it ever get easier (to see others traded)?
Do it get easier? Nah, it don’t get easier. People gotta pack up and go home. Don’t know where they’re sending you. You’ve got a family, that’s part of that living here. Now you gotta pack all them up, probably coming where you at. So, nah it ain’t easy. Nah, not at all.
Is the team better or the team worse (without Diggs)?
“Is the team better or the team worse? Shit, I don’t know how it can be better or worse when you trade an alternate Pro Bowler, in his prime, too. So I don’t know if it be better or worse. I don’t know, I mean, shit. I don’t know how to even answer that question.”
What do you do about these feelings? Do you talk to Matt (Patricia) or Bob (Quinn) about them?
“Nah, I ain’t talk to neither one of them about that. That’s their problem. I’m working. That’s all I do. I work. It’s not no kind of relationship or nothing like that. Just, I’m here. I work here. It’s my job. I gotta do my job.”
If you think the team is worse, do you not ask about how to get better or why they made you worse?
“Man, all I know is I’m here, I’m trying to win. That’s it.”
So you don’t seek out answers as to why?
“Man, shit, I need to know why, but they ain’t tell me why. They just do it. They ain’t got to answer to me. Everybody seem like they got to answer to them.”
Have you talked to Quandre?
“I talk to him everyday.”
Did he give you any reason why he thought this move happened?
“The ain’t tell him nothing, so I don’t know.”
Does this move actually surprise you more than other trades?
“Why wouldn’t it surprise someone? I told you he’s an alternate Pro Bowler and our team captain. How would that not be surprising? You crazy.”
The trade deadline is next week, do you have any fears?
“Hell no. Fuck no. It’s the last thing I’m worried about. I don’t give a damn, honestly. I don’t. Like I said, I just work. No matter where I’m at, whether I’m here or somewhere else, I just go to work.”
It seems like this move is hitting you...
“Oh, it’s hitting me. That’s my guy. That’s my dude, my brother, but like I said, we both talk, it’s a business. You know how it is, we’re still going to be chopping it up, kicking it.”
What do you think about your whole situation (with the team)?
“All I know is I have to picture it as anybody can go. That’s it. I just see there’s no loyalty in there. No matter how much you put in, if they feel it’s a little different, they can get rid of you. So I just play ball.”
Do you feel that’s specifically here or everywhere?
“Everywhere. That’s everywhere. It’s everywhere, just like we’ve seen with Earl (Thomas). It’s everywhere. Ain’t just here. It’s everywhere. It’s just how the business is. It’s a business. That’s all I’ve been preached to as a youngin’ when I first got into the league. I’m sure Quandre appreciates that, too by his brother. It’s just a business.”
How do you think the team handles this move going forward?
“Shit, I don’t know. Like everybody in here, they probably have a job to do and they gotta do it. So, yeah, you gotta keep pushing, keep it going. And that’s it, we need to win. I don’t know what else there is to it.”
How healthy are you right now?
“You know I ain’t gonna talk about that.”
How do you keep something like this from affecting you?
“Oh, what? That don’t got nothing to do with the field. I’m a dog. I just go play ball. That’s not going to affect nothing on the field, just affects the relationship in the locker room. I’ve got to probably communicate a lot different with folks, because guys like me and Quandre had stuff going on, just like I had GQ (Glover Quin). He understood me, how I play. He knew what play he’d get from me. So I just gotta build a relationship with other young guys and I figure out how to connect all those pieces together.”
Do you feel less loyalty to the team?
“I don’t know how to answer that question, to be honest. You’re kind of tricking me.”
Do you want to be here next week at the trade deadline?
“Do I want to? Like I said, I’m here to play ball. Don’t matter if I’m here or not, that’s what I want to do. I just want to play ball.
Do you want to play ball for the Lions for the rest of the year?
“It don’t matter where I’m at, I just wanna play ball. It don’t matter. That’s it.”
UPDATE: Darius Slay tried to provide some extra clarity Thursday evening on Twitter:
For fans get the wrong impression I love the state of Michigan I give y’all my all on an off the field for u guys!!!! BigPlay just don’t like the business side of it!!!— Darius Slay (@_bigplayslay23) October 24, 2019