Plaxico Burress didn’t need an NFL lockout to know the feeling of having football taken from him.

The former Giants star spent nearly two years in prison stemming from a gun charge in 2009. He was released in June and signed with the Jets in July, looking for a new start to his career.

Burress, who turned 34 last week, opened up for the first time about his life behind bars and the incident which led to his incarceration to HBO’s Real Sports.

He told the show’s Bryant Gumbel he hasn’t always been disciplined on and off the field.

“My career, my life hasn’t always been squeaky clean,” Burress said. “You get portrayed as being a certain type of person, a certain type of individual…based on what the media says or what kind of car you drive, how you dress.”

The 6’5 Burress has yet to discuss his time in prison at length or the exact moments which preceded the gun shot wound he sustained at a Manhattan nightclub in November, 2008.

He said he thought jurors would treat him with compassion and as someone who could learn from the incident. He said he thought wrong.

“Half of those people had no idea who I was,” he said. “They just saw an African-American over there sitting around making a lot of money carrying a gun into a club that shot [himself].”

The full interview with Burress will air on HBO’s “Real Sports” Tuesday at 10 p.m.

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