The former XFL player known by the colorful nickname “He Hate Me” has been found and is safe, authorities in South Carolina said Tuesday. Torrold “Rod” Smart had been reported missing.
Deputies in Lancaster County had announced earlier in the day that the 42-year-old had not been seen since June 12. Family members had concerns “about his safety and well-being,” according to officials.
“Mr. Smart has been located and he is safe at this time," authorities said in an update on Facebook. "We appreciate everyone’s concern and assistance.”
Smart, a running back out of Western Kentucky, spent five seasons with the Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL but was best known for his career with the Las Vegas Outlaws of the XFL, the 2001 league that featured some players’ nicknames rather than their last names on their jerseys.
The XFL folded after one season, but a reboot in eight cities is planned for 2020. Smart was one of the few players from the original XFL who landed in the NFL, joining the Panthers in 2002 after the start-up league folded.
In a Facebook post, the Lancaster sheriff’s office had written that it was “unusual for him to be out of touch for this long” and described Smart as a “missing endangered person.” A sheriff’s office employee was not immediately able to provide any details on Smart’s safe return.
A fan favorite, Smart explained at the Super Bowl in 2004 how his nickname came about.
“Basically, my brother’s my opponent,” he said. “After I win, he’s gonna hate me. It is what it is. It’s a saying I was saying when I’d feel something wasn’t going my way. For example, [when] I was on the squad in Vegas and coach was putting other guys in.
“If I felt I’m better than them, you know, hey, he hate me. See what I’m saying? Give me a chance. That’s all I ask. It came from the heart. Within. The way I felt.”
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