NFL players don’t retire at 26 years old. Rashard Mendenhall, however, did that exact thing over the weekend–to the surprise of many around the football world. He played just six years with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals while suffering through injuries his whole career.
He explained in print for Huffington Post that he was tired of “living a private life in the public eye”. There are a lot of people who want to have a private life at a pro athlete, but that is something that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Everyone wants the next big story and what is happening every second of the day with each player.
People should respect this decision though. He didn’t want to deal with the media or people using racial slurs against him online anymore and there is nothing wrong with that. It is just the amount of money he is leaving on the table to stop playing that will baffle football fans everywhere. Mendenhall will find a new career somewhere outside of the public eye.