Anquan Boldin Retires From NFL, Citing His Need To Assist With Social Change In America
Bills WR Anquan Boldin retired this week, and the recent conflict in Charlottesville was the "tipping point" that caused the 14-year veteran to "reassess his priorities," according to John Wawrow of the AP. Boldin: "Anybody with any sense can see how divided we are as a country, and Charlottesville only magnified what we were already seeing." He added, "That's not the America that I want to live in. And I think the only way that this America changes is that we as a people stand up and change it." Wawrow noted as "difficult as it was to walk away from football," Boldin, who was the '15 Walter Payton Man of the Year, "felt he could no longer stand silent on the sideline." Boldin: "There's not enough money in this world for me to continue to allow the things that are going on to continue to spread" (AP, 8/21). In DC, Barry Svrluga notes Boldin is retiring "because the moment calls for his voice and for his work." Boldin: "Everybody says players need to stand together or there needs to be more white faces that are standing up and championing these causes. The part people are missing: It also needs to be coaches. It also needs to be owners. It needs to be GMs." Boldin: "Whenever African-American athletes, or athletes period, go to Washington, we’re afforded different meetings that probably the regular citizen wouldn’t get. But ... there’s a different respect level if we had owners with us" (WASHINGTON POST, 8/22). In Buffalo, Jay Skurski notes Boldin "had a cousin who was killed by a Florida police officer during a roadside stop." He has "spoken to two senators who sponsored a bill on police reform" and has "testified before Congress" (BUFFALO NEWS, 8/22). Lions coach Jim Caldwell said of Boldin, "He’s one of those guys, when you talk about guys that take action and make a difference in your community, he doesn’t just showboat. He’s focused in on trying to find ways to make a positive change" (DETROIT NEWS, 8/22). Ravens TE Benjamin Watson in this week's SportsBusiness Journal talks about using his platform to discuss social issues.