After speculation about his future plans began to emerge Saturday, former Steelers and Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall announced in a statement that he was retiring from the NFL.
His statement, which appeared on the Huffington Post Sunday, detailed more than just his decision to retire. He went in-depth as to why the decision was made to retire at the age of 26 from a sport that many have to be pushed out of. The statement – more of an article – was very explanatory in the reasoning behind his decision to leave. Simply put…he wanted a life that felt like his own. He was tired of living “a private life in the public eye.” He explains the troubles he encountered on social media (racial slurs on the regular?! YEP), and his struggle to simply play the game he loved while everyone else is concerned with being the next “Dancing with The Stars” contestant.
Diva’s Perspective: I applaud Rashard Mendenhall for taking an active position in his own life, and making a choice to do what is best for himself. I am encouraged to see someone who knows himself, and his worth, so well that he doesn’t feel obligated to live a way that is contradictory to his beliefs. This is a man who knows he is more than just a football player (as they ALL are), and is ready to embrace the other aspects of who he is.
Everyone isn’t built to live as an entertainer/star/public figure. We often force that label on our athletes simply because they want to play a sport professionally. We expect so much of them, and they aren’t allowed to make many of the mistakes we often make. They become “role models” even if they have no idea how to live their life let alone show some young kid how to live theirs.
Rashard, congratulations on choosing to be whoever you want to be from here on out.