It’s not every day that a superstar suddenly retires from their sport, especially while in their prime. Actually, it’s almost never. Stars who had a lot left have retired suddenly before, most notably Michael Jordan after winning his third NBA title. Calvin Johnson, also an NFL superstar, retired in 2016 at age 30 despite having a lot left in the tank. But those two stars retired suddenly for a reason not in relation to the sport they played, unlike Indianapolis Cults quarterback Andrew Luck.
Most know the story of MJ’s first retirement. He called it quits in 1993 in order to pursue a career in baseball, his father’s dream for Michael, in order to honor his father after his death. Johnson retired in 2016 mainly because he felt disrespected by the Detroit Lions and was tired of the way they treated him. Luck, however, decided to leave the NFL because he was mentally worn out from playing the sport he played for the better part of his life. He even stated that he no longer felt joy from playing the sport (due to consistent injuries) in a press conference following his retirement announcement.
Sports are a huge part of the lives of these almost superhuman athletes we watch. But what’s just as big to them is their personal lives, and their goals outside of whatever sport they play. Darren Collison, who was a starting point guard last year for the Indiana Pacers, retired at age 31 in order to focus on religion. And now Luck retires in order to focus on himself, his family, and his goals outside of football. Could this be a trend to continue into the future? Could sports stars retire due to personal reasons once their satisfied or have had enough of the sport? Honestly, even though I’m the biggest sports nut I know, I hope this trend continues. We need to treat athletes more like regular people. They deserve to have a life outside of sports, even if it means early retirement.
What do you think about this? Should we encourage or discourage early retirement for sports stars?
By Hugo Vazquez, Brooks College Prep, Senior