HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Calvin Johnson never spoke out much when he was in the NFL with the Detroit Lions. He was mostly quiet on the field and quiet in his opinions about everything else in the world.
Occasionally, he would speak up. And now, with a bit more time on his hands in retirement, his voice has grown louder. Johnson has used social media -- both Twitter and Instagram -- to voice his opinion about social issues, including the mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando, Florida, earlier this month.
On Saturday, in his first public comments since retiring from the NFL in March, he explained why.
“I do have more time. I never spent, especially during the season, I never spent time on social media or nothing like that,” Johnson said after his Catching Dreams football camp in Michigan. “Now I have more time, especially when something like that happens, you know, I just feel the need to vent, because gun control, it's not in control, put it like that.
“The common sense that you think that the people that make those decisions, put it like this, common sense isn’t so common because some of the laws that should be in place, they aren’t and simple as that, man.”
Part of Johnson’s message after the Orlando shootings were pointed at lawmakers, before he ended his thoughts with “Love combats evils so Love on your neighbor man, hell show everybody some Love as we see there’s enough hate.”
It was another mass shooting in the United States, in Charleston, South Carolina, that brought Johnson back to Twitter about a year ago. He stayed mostly silent during the season and then, when retirement came, he found his avenue to become more vocal.
Don’t expect this to play into Johnson’s post-football plans. While he has great passion for education and met first lady Michelle Obama, he has no interest in running for office.
“I’m not a politician,” Johnson said. “I cannot sit in that statehouse and listen to all the banter all day. I can’t do [that].”