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NFL veteran Lance Briggs attacks systematic racism with sci-fi comic The Trap

(Image credit: Chicago Bears)

Retired NFL linebacker Lance Briggs is well-known for his love of comic books, and he's taking that to the next level with a sci-fi graphic novel titled The Trap, which just launched on Kickstarter. This far-flung future sci-fi OGN is inspired by his own experiences with sports and systematic racism.

(Image credit: Danilo Beyruth/Tamra Bonvilain/Hasan Otmane-Elhaou/Sasha Head)

"In The Trap, Jaylen Robinson is a rising sports star from a not-so-great part of the galaxy: Earth. He's worked hard his whole life. Everyone's saying that Jaylen is the Next Big Thing for the interstellar sport of the future: surfriding. The future is his. This is his chance. Until it's not," reads the project's description on Kickstarter.

"Days before a big race, everything changes. Jaylen's surfrider board needs to be repaired but he doesn't have the money and he doesn't have very many options," the description continues. "He's desperate —  desperate enough to agree to boost the ship belonging to one of Earth's Interstellar Senators. But when the job goes wrong and Jaylen Robinson accidentally shoots the Senator, his once-promising sports career threatens to succumb to The Trap."

(Image credit: Super Fan Promotions)

Briggs is a 12-year veteran of the NFL, serving his entire term as a prized member of the Chicago Bears as a seven-time Pro Bowler. He is bringing The Trap to comics life with writer Kyle Higgins, artist Danilo Beyruth, colorist Tamra Bonvillain, letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, and designer Sasha Head.

As Briggs explains on Kickstarter, The Trap is inspired by his own upbringing and the systematic racism he and his family experienced.

"Before I played professional football, my life was very different," says Briggs. "I grew up in Sacramento, California during the '80s and '90s, with my mother and two older sisters. But while many people hear 'Sacramento' and associate it with a place of power and decision making in the state of California, the reality — for many of its residents — is anything but.

(Image credit: Danilo Beyruth/Tamra Bonvilain/Hasan Otmane-Elhaou/Sasha Head)

"Our family struggled no differently than most in the south area. There were times when the pantry was bare and the fridge was empty. Days or weeks without power. Waking up to cold showers before school. For those of us who came of age in an environment like this, we have a simple name for it: The Trap," Briggs continues. "Put simply, the name translates to a community that has been failed by its governing bodies. The Trap is both a neighborhood and a resulting way of life— a system designed to keep you from succeeding."

The Trap is currently taking pre-orders on Kickstarter, aiming to raise at least $35,000 to fund the 120-page hardcover OGN.

Lance Briggs isn't the first celebrity to moonlight in comic books, nor will he be the last. Check out our list of the biggest celebrities who have worked in comic books.

Chris Arrant

Newsarama Senior Editor Chris Arrant has covered comic book news for Newsarama since 2003, and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table.