You may not remember much about Jace Billingsley’s performance with the Detroit Lions over a three-year span, but the former NFL wide receiver made some noise after his retirement. In his own music video called “Battle Born,” Billingsley depicted Lions general manager Bob Quinn and team president Rod Wood with clown noses while he sang the words “I don’t belong with those soft, uptown boys.”
But Billingsley wants to make amends. He reached out to Pride of Detroit last week in an effort to clear the air and give his perspective both about his time in Detroit and his initial intentions with the music video.
But more than anything, he simply wanted to apologize for his actions.
“I want to apologize, because like I said, the dust settles, I stand behind the reasoning behind it, but there’s no reason to do those personal attacks,” Billingsley said this week on our PODcast. “That was not called for. I still believe that my intentions behind the whole message of the video was definitely pure, but that doesn’t mean you can just do whatever you want. So, I just apologize for doing that, because Bob Quinn, Rod Wood, they’re good guys. Bob Quinn’s son was there when I was there. He was helping out. Man, he’s a good dad.”
Billingsley made it clear that he was very thankful for his time in Detroit. The original purpose of the music video was to describe his journey, as he turned away an offer to rejoin the Lions, because he had simply lost a passion for football. Growing up in a small town and going to a small college, football was originally just about the fun of the game, but his time in the NFL had turned into a business, and he simply didn’t want to be a part of it anymore.
“The whole point of that little scene was I got offered back by the Lions, and I chose to follow my heart and go with music, which was probably one of the hardest decisions of my life,” Billingsley said.
You can listen to the entire interview here, where Billingsley talks about his hometown support, the wackiness of the 2016 Name Bracket Tournament, tells stories about Golden Tate and his mentorship, and gives his thoughts on Matt Patricia.