Whose life is it, anyway?
Andrew Luck, the outstanding but oft-injured NFL quarterback, made a surprise announcement over the weekend that he’s had it, calling an end to his seven-year career because he’s tired of sustaining one injury after another.
For some reason, that’s controversial in some quarters. Indianapolis Colts fans booed Luck as he walked off the field following last weekend’s preseason game against the Bears.
“That hurt,” Luck said in response to questions about the booing from the same fans who once cheered lustily for him.
Fans get emotional, and they’re not always rational. So their response, while disappointing, is hardly a surprise.
What’s surprising is that some sports commentators are suggesting that because Luck decided that he’d rather take his life in a different direction that he’s somehow a sissy, a sellout or disloyal.
“Retiring cause rehabbing is ‘too hard’ is the most millennial thing ever,” tweeted Doug Gottlieb, a sports analyst with Fox.
That, of course, is not the issue.
Luck has decided to stop playing professional football out of concern for his physical and emotional health. Why not? It’s a brutal game.
That may not make sense to some fans and commentators who seem to think that athletes owe them something more than their best performance on the field. But it makes perfect sense to those who realize that there’s more to life than professional football and that being healthy is a top priority, not just for today but decades from now.
Luck, who is just 29, has excelled in sports all his life. He’s learned the hard way that there’s a huge price to pay competing at the highest level of football.
He no longer is willing to make the physical sacrifices that are required. So Luck is leaving. He’s not the first. He won’t be the last. Good luck to him in his new endeavors.