Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali took to Facebook Live on Tuesday to clear up the criticisms he leveled at the team for his dwindling role and some of his teammates for their lack of commitment in a Twitter rant Saturday.
The 33-year-old said his comments were “blown out of proportion” and emphasized that his frustrations stem from a desire to win a championship before his time in the NFL ends.
“I’ve always wanted to win a championship, and I’ve always been a part of the equation,” said Hali. “What happened last year is I just wanted to win. I think anyone can bear with me and understand that the frustration of losing a game in the playoffs and barely playing. Being a competitor, you just want to win. That was basically what the rant was about.”
Hali continued, saying he was “all in” with the Chiefs. And while the linebacker insisted his comments about teammates missing some of the offseason program wasn’t a shot at anyone in particular, he said Kansas City needs its leaders present as much as possible.
“I wasn’t calling out any players, I was just letting people know how I feel,” said Hali. “This is our team. The players play.”
He added: “Sometimes you need chemistry as a team, and you need your leaders around. And we have a young team. Sometimes you have to tell your leaders, or point fingers at your leaders and let them know that, ‘guys, you gotta be around. You gotta be around.’ You know, I’ve been here 12 years and I’m not getting younger.”
Hali was mostly a non-factor for the Chiefs in 2016, starting just two games – though he appeared in all 16 – and picking up 3.5 sacks.
The pass-rusher has two years left on his current deal. Barring an extension to lessen his 2018 cap number, 2017 could be Hali’s last year with the Chiefs, and he’s set on making it count.
“We just need to make sure everybody is on board and understand what’s at stake here,” said Hali. “It’s real serious business when it comes to football and me. Some people don’t take it that serious. I do.”
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