Former FSU sand NFL star Anquan Boldin abruptly retired from the NFL over the weekend as a member of the Buffalo Bills. At first the speculation was thought that it had to do with his ability to compete at a high level. However earlier this week, Boldin made it abundantly clear as to why he’s hanging up the cleats. His decision has little to do with football and everything to do with the current political climate facing this nation. He made his choice after what he saw took place in Charlottesville, VA over this past weekend.
“I think anybody with any sense can see how divided we are as a country, and Charlottesville only magnified what we were already seeing,”
“That’s not the America that I want to live in,” he said. “And I think the only way that this America changes is that we as a people stand up and change it.”
“There’s not enough money in this world for me to continue to allow the things that are going on to continue to spread,”
“I will not feel safe leaving this earth and having my kids have to live in the America that we have today.”
“You have your players crying out for help. That’s the reason why guys are taking knees during the anthem”
These are rather strong sentiments from Boldin, who’s 36 years of age and among the top four active receivers with 1,076 receptions, 13,799 yards and 82 TDs.
Boldin also addressed what is commonly told to athletes when they take political stances and are told to stick to sports:
“Just because we’re professional athletes doesn’t mean we’re exempt from the things that go on in society,” Boldin said, noting his position as an athlete couldn’t save his cousin from being shot.
“If I’m an owner and I see one of my family members — players — hurting, I’d do whatever I can to make sure that my family is OK.”
Boldin has been active when it comes to criminal justice reform. His awareness became heightened after his cousin was killed by a plainclothes police office in Florida in 2015.
In an interview with SiriusXM, Boldin made it clear that he’s still physically able to play, but is calling it quits anyways and will not return to the game even if a Super Bowl contender gives him a call:
“Do I feel like I can still play? Of course,” Boldin said. “My passion for the advocacy work that I do outweighs football at this point, so I’m not coming back to play for a contender or to do anything else. I’m done with the game of football.”
The political climate in the NFL right now is at a fever pitch. Between Colin Kaepernick still without a job, and the expansion of the National Anthem protests, which included 12 players on the Browns on Monday kneeling, Boldin only adds to the conversation.