Former Steelers WR Antwaan Randle El Regrets Playing Football Due To Recent Physical Struggles

Charlie Blacks II January 20th 2016 Sports
For those of you who are a little clueless as to who Antwaan Randle El is, you missed not only one of the better wide receivers of the 2000s, but one of the more flashier kick and punt returners during his era. Drafted in the second round, 62nd overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers, coming out of Indiana University in 2002, Randle El automatically became an asset on the offensive side of the ball. In Super Bowl XL, Antwaan became the first and only wide receiver to throw a touchdown in the biggest game of the year. He also has a career passer rating of 156.1, the highest passer rating among players with a minimum of 20 attempts. In 2005, he was named First-team All Pro and racked up some decent stats career wise. With 370 receptions, 4,467 total receiving yards, 4,316 total receiving yards, and 27 touchdowns under his belt, we would say his eight year career was a success… What the problem is, is what comes after the glory years of playing in stadiums full of people screaming your name, waiting for you to make the next amazing play, or waiting on your downfall as a rival team fan. Recently Randle El sat down with a journalist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and spilled his heart out about life after the NFL.
We’ve all heard the stories about the physical and mental trauma players go through after they retire from one of the most violent games on the planet. Some have even taken their own lives, for example Junior Seau and most recently Lawrence Phillips. Now we have Randle El, who is speaking out about the troubles he has to face day in and day out, and only at the age of 36. For instance, he has trouble going down a staircase, an act we probably take for granted everyday when at the office, at home, or even in public. Even with all of his successes we rifled off above, in a follow up interview with Dan Patrick, he claims that he wishes he wouldn’t have chosen football as his primary career and income if he had the choice to do it all over. That may sound like Randle El regrets his choice to join the NFL draft, but he was quick to say that his career helped him reach a platform to be influential towards the youth and that he was compensated well for his services while in the league. In college, he was also well known for his basketball and baseball skills and stated that if he could he would have chosen the longer and safer career of being a baseball player.

Here’s a few quotes from the highly publicized interview, "I have to come down sideways sometimes, depending on the day… Going up is easier actually than coming down." Randle El said about the difficulties of getting around at home to the Pittsburgh periodical. "It's real, it is what it is, but I got to preface a couple of things I want people to realize. I'm in no way dying, keeling over, struggling to get around, anything like that," he exclaimed. "If I could go back, I wouldn't," he said to the Post-Gazette. "I would play baseball. I got drafted by the Cubs in the 14th round, but I didn't play baseball because of my parents. They made me go to school. Don't get me wrong, I love the game of football. But right now, I could still be playing baseball."
With the movie Concussion informing people about the dangers of football and how the league didn’t really do anything to inform their participants about the effects that just one blow to the head can have on the rest of your life, many people are taking a step back and looking at the game a little more cautiously now. Not to mention all the mental health issues that continue popping up year in and year out about players either committing suicide or taking the lives of others, maybe Roger Goodell needs to focus less on making money and more on the lives of the people that are making him money. Thank the powers that be for level-headed players like Randle El being here to inform people about what could possibly be lifesaving career choices for those in the league now and the youth that plan on playing in the league.


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