Raiders QB Derek Carr Fights Back Tears at Emotional Presser: “I Love Henry Ruggs”
In an emotional press conference that brought Raiders quarterback Derek Carr to the verge of tears several times, the Raiders Head Coach Rich Bisaccia and QB expressed their devastation over the crash involving former wide receiver Henry Ruggs III that left a young woman dead on Tuesday.
“First of all, we want to express our sincere condolences to the victim’s family,” Bisaccia said.
“A person lost their life yesterday morning and we think it’s important to keep the focus on that as we talk about this tragic event. We’re deeply saddened for everyone affected, especially the victim’s family. That being said, we love Henry Ruggs and want him to know that. It’s a terrible lapse in judgment of the most horrific kind, it’s something that he will have to live with the rest of his life. The gravity of the situation is not lost on anyone here and we understand and respect the loss of life.”
Bisaccia explained his struggle to find the right words to comfort the team while maintaining a competitive mindset and the hallmark “we mentality” that he has built.
“To be perfectly frank, I don’t really know if I can put into words the emotional feelings that certainly I went through and certainly I can’t speak for our players or our coaches, or our owner or our organization,” Bisaccia said. “I just know that for me as a parent and a person that cares about young people and that deals with young people every day, I really don’t know if I can quantify what the emotions are.”
The Las Vegas Raiders released Henry Ruggs III Tuesday afternoon after the organization collected information regarding the accident. Bisaccia mentioned that team owner, Mark Davis made a decision that was best for the organization at the particular time.
Ruggs has been charged with two felonies and its reported that he was driving over 150 mph in lead up to the crash and had a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit, though that information has not been confirmed as of yet.
The Raiders have had a difficult year after recently losing their Head Coach, Jon Gruden following the release of disturbing emails sent when he worked for ESPN which included racist, homophobic and other offensive remarks about individuals. Now the team must deal with this fatal accident and the release of their stellar first round wide receiver, Ruggs.
“We have been confronted with this situation, as grown men we all have to respond in a certain way. We’re all forging our identity in life and certainly in the locker room through how we face adversity and how we deal with adversity; that’s how life goes, I think they understand that,” Bissacia said.
“There’s no blueprint, there’s no handbook that they give you for obstacles that occur whether you’re a parent, whether you’re a teacher…. there’s no blueprints for these things and I just think we all lean on each other…we’ve done a good job with communicating with each other….we’ve tried to give the best resources we have to our players,” remarked Bisaccia.
Quarterback and team leader, Derek Carr had to address his team in the locker room after this tragic event.
Carr shared some remarks during the press conference while fighting back tears and highlighting the role of his unwavering faith.
“My emotions have been on a roller coaster so to speak this year,” Carr said. “My heart first goes to the families that are involved.”
He continued,”There are things that happen in life for all of us that we don’t have control over, and you wish you did. I have a thousand questions I wish I could ask, but I don’t get those opportunities. I don’t understand everything and why certain things happen. I forever have relied on the foundation of who I am is my faith, and I’m going to stand on that when it’s hard, and I’m going to stand on that when it’s easy.”
“My heart goes out so much. I’ll try to say it with a straight face because I’ve already been emotional about every bit of this. But to the family, to all the families involved, no one ever wants to see this, whether it’s a football player or not, you never want to see something like this happen. It broke my wife and I’s heart, honestly.”
On the night of the fatal accident, Ruggs texted fellow teammates Carr and Hunter Renfrow from a putting range around midnight asking them, “How’s my swing look? You guys need to help me.” Carr woke up the next morning to the unimaginable news.
“I just don’t know how I’m supposed to handle that. I’m doing my best, but I do know that God is good and I’m going to believe that.”
Ruggs faces charges of DUI resulting in death and reckless driving which carry minimum sentences of 2 years and one year respectively and up to twenty years on the DUI resulting in death felony. Ruggs’ long time girlfriend, Kiara Je’nai Kilgo-Washington was in the car with him at the time of the accident. Both were treated at a nearby hospital for “serious” injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Wednesday morning Ruggs made an appearance in court, where Chief Deputy District Attorney Eric Bauman disclosed that Ruggs was traveling at 156 mph before crashing into the Toyota Rav4 at 3:39 am that killed a 23 year female, Tina Tintor and her dog. Ruggs’ blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit at the time of the accident. In addition, he also was in possession of a loaded gun.
Ruggs’ bail was set at $150,000 on Wednesday. The state had asked for bail to be set at $1 million however Ruggs’ attorney objected on grounds of “excessiveness”.
Ruggs was ordered to return to court on Nov. 10.
Carr emotionally stated, “I walked by, saw Henry’s locker and for some reason that got me.”
“I will always be here for him, that won’t change and I’ll prove that over the course of time to him, not to anybody else.”
An emotional Carr continued, “He needs people to love him right now. He’s probably feeling a certain way about himself right now and needs to be loved, and if no one else will do it, I’ll do it.”
Despite the curveball of events that have been thrown the Raiders way this season, the team is trying to focus on the remainder of their season and make it to the playoffs touting an impressive record that Carr attributes to the team’s unity and focus on character as well as football.
“Football is secondary when something like this happens, we are talking about lives, a lot of different lives in a lot of different situations,” Carr said. “For us, from a football aspect, our mindset is we’re going to be ready to play. That’s for sure.” “Every man in the locker room kind of feels the same way…. we have work to do.”
The Raiders travel to MetLife Stadium and face the New York Giants early Sunday afternoon.
More regarding Ruggs current charges can be found here.
Here League of Justice explain how Raiders’ Henry Ruggs III, could potentially evade a two-year minimum sentence if he’s charged with a felony as is being reported by various news outlets.