Akiem Hicks Uses Ejection As 'Humbling' Experience

Hicks apologized to his Bears teammates for his ejection on Sept. 30.

Chris Emma
October 11, 2018 - 1:51 pm
Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks celebrates after a play.

Kamil Krzaczynski/USA Today Sports

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) -- Before Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks could speak publicly through the media about being ejected, fined and nearly suspended for an in-game incident with an official on Sept. 30, he wanted to address his teammates first.

Hicks called the incident "humbling," agreed with coach Matt Nagy that it was uncharacteristic and vowed to learn from it.

Hicks wanted his teammates to learn from it too.

"I know there's a lot of young guys that look up to me on this team," Hicks said before practice Thursday. "It's hypocritical of me to go out there and do things like that and come back to the locker room and think everything's gravy. It doesn't work that way. I wanted to make sure our guys knew how I felt about the situation.

"I wanted them to know how I felt about the situation and how wrong my response was to the situation.

"The next time I'm in that situation, it will give me a chance to react better. And it's also a lesson for the guys on the team that you don't put your personal situation above the team situation."

Hicks had never been ejected before a game at any level prior being tossed in the second quarter of the Bears' win against the Buccaneers on Sept. 30. He was fined $33,425 by the NFL but not suspended. 

Hicks has three sacks on the season, part of the Bears' total of 19 that ranks second-best in the NFL. The Bears are one shy of the Steelers, who have played five games compared to the Bears' four.

As for the message Hicks offered to the Bears?

"He just apologized for it and whatnot," rookie linebacker Roquan Smith said. "A leader should step up to the plate, which is not easy for guys to do. So, that was definitely big. A lot of respect for that guy."

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.​​