Wednesday, February 28, 2024

NFL; The Early Retirement Effect & Mental Health’s Relationship To It.

August 28, 2019 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Sports, Weekly Columns

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( Even though I’ve never been too big of an NFL football watcher, but recently, Ex-Colts QB Andrew Luck had announced his retirement from The NFL after 8 years in the league. That announcement had sent shockwaves throughout not only the entire league, but as well as the entire sports world. 

As shocking as Luck’s retirement was to a lot of people, but it didn’t shock nor surprise me in the slightest because I have noticed a trend over the last 7 years of players retiring early from playing football that doesn’t have much to do with “the love of the game” nonsense, but mainly because of the physical and mental issues that come with playing football.

Football is one of the most vicious and destructive sports in history because of the physical and mental toll that it takes on a person. A recent example of this is when a brother in ex-fullback LeRon McClain tweeted, ““Playing fullback since high school. Its takes too fucking much to do anything. My brain is fucking tired…. @NFL i need some help with this shyt.” The brother is clearly explaining in a series of tweets that he may indeed have severe brain damage in the form of CTE from all those hits that he took to the head throughout his entire football career.

Little Known Fact – There was once a time that football in America was extremely brutal and destructive that players were getting killed almost every week and every year that it was almost outlawed in the early 1900s.

Football is also without question one of the most overrated sports today especially in the black community because not everything about the sport is what it’s cracked up to be because there’s a very dark and destructive culture that comes with the sport from alcohol/drug abuse, financial irresponsibility, unhealthy addiction to gluttony in the form of excess materialism, and last but not least, they also have women coming at them with their own ulterior motives that are definitely not in the best interest of football players. And then, there’s also the fact that out of all the brothers that are currently playing football that invest everything into it will only have a 2% chance of ever making it into The NFL and when they do, their careers will only last an average of 3 – 3 1/2 years.

Football is also a sport that chews black men up when they’re useful and spits them out when they’re no longer useful. This toxic and destructive relationship between black men and football reminds me of a rap song that I listened to a few years ago and the chorus of that song is, “They’ll find a new brother next year” which is exactly what they do every single year to black men. Too often, many of our young brothers are constantly pressured by family members, friends, coaches, and the media into choosing a career that won’t truly bring them true happiness and success, but is also unhealthy and destructive to their physical and mental health especially their brain that’s not meant to take too many blows to the head. 

One of the main reasons as to why there’s been a trend of players retiring early over the past seven years because of their knowledge of CTE aka brain damage that also brings all sorts of mental health problems like anger irritability, constant blackouts/seizures, and even severe memory loss because I have seen numerous stories of brothers who used to play football for so many years talk about not being able to remember certain things like where they were 5 to 10 minutes ago and getting angry for absolutely no apparent reason at all.

I remember watching a film called “Concussion” a few years ago where it talked about this black doctor named Bennett Omalu that discovered CTE back in 2002 and when he tried to present his findings to The NFL, The NFL did everything they could to keep this information from going public for fear that it’ll get in the way of their “bottom line” aka money. 

What I want these young brothers to know is that there’s far more to life than just going out on the football field and risking paralysis and brain damage in front of a bunch of caucasoid people. They can make far more money and have a more successful life as either an business owner, entrepreneur, or an investor than playing football on a yearly fixed salary in which the money doesn’t even last long. 

The Conclusion – The people that get angry about a player retiring early while still in the prime of his career needs to realize that there’s a life outside of football because the biggest battle of a football player is not on the field, but away from the lights, the cameras, and the football field itself.

Staff Writer; Kwame Shakir (aka Joe D.)

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