Anquan Boldin has lived and breathed football over the past 14 years, but the NFL wide receiver decided now is the time to hang up his cleats.
After playing in more than 200 games, accumulating nearly 14,000 yards and 82 touchdowns, and winning a Super Bowl, Boldin retired from the sport to focus on his humanitarian efforts.
“Football has afforded me a platform throughout my career to have a greater impact on my humanitarian work, and at this time, I feel drawn to make the larger fight for human rights a priority,” Boldin said in a statement. “My life’s purpose is bigger than football.”
Thank you all fans, teams and my NFL brothers for the well wishes. It’s truly been an honor to be apart of the league the last 14 seasons. Q pic.twitter.com/kMFxYlkIO7
— Anquan Boldin (@AnquanBoldin) August 24, 2017
Boldin, who won the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award in 2015 and started the Q81 Foundation to expand educational and life opportunities for underprivileged children, cited the recent events in Charlottesville, VA as a catalyst for his decision to retire.
“I think anybody with any sense can see how divided we are as a country, and Charlottesville only magnified what we were already seeing,” Boldin told John Wawrow of the Associated Press. “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.”
It’s not uncommon for football players to retire only to later change their minds and return to the field (Jay Cutler most recently did so with the Miami Dolphins), but Boldin made it clear that his retirement is permanent.
“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,” he told SiriusXM NFL Radio.
A man of faith, Boldin told ESPN that his “life purpose is to honor God,” and his “passion for people outweighs his passion for playing football.
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(Photo Credit: @anquanboldin)