Plaxico Burress says that he spent most of his time in prison being angry with himself, and it was only when his release date was on the horizon that he decided to put his anger behind him.
Burress told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith that he thought often about what a dumb decision it was to illegally carry a gun into a New York nightclub, but he finally realized he needs to move on with his life.
“I was the person that took that risk and chose to carry that firearm that night,” Burress said. “I was angry with myself for a long time. I beat myself up for so long. When I finally was able to let it go, I was 30 or 60 days away from going home and I was saying, I can’t get that time back. That time is gone. So I’m either going to grow from it, learn from it, move on, or just keep being angry. And I chose to put it behind me. That part of my life is over. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from it and now it’s time to take the next step.”
Burress said prison was even harder than he thought it would be, and he said he had particular trouble with the prison staff.
“The hardest part for me was just the authority,” Burress said. “Listening to the things the officers would say — degrading them physically, racially or whatever it might be — to hear people get talked to like that, even me sometimes, it was like, this place is not human.”
Burress said it was tough to share a prison unit with “rapists, murderers, pedophiles, everything that’s associated with jail and crime. . . . I didn’t think I deserved to be there.” But he said he’s sure he won’t be back.
“To come out of there and have your life come back to you so fast, everything hits you at one moment,” Burress said. “Relief, joy, happiness, love. You say to yourself, I’m never going to put myself in any type of situation to have anything negative happen to me.”