Apparently, we can’t allow Andrew Luck to retire peacefully.
Not long after news leaked that Luck would abruptly retire from the NFL at the age of 29, social media and fans had a mixed reaction. Many people were understanding of Luck’s own personal decision to walk away from the game, as he cited he was burned out from playing football. Others — such as Indianapolis Colts fans — openly booed him at Lucas Oil Stadium as he exited for the tunnel during the team’s preseason loss to the Chicago Bears on Saturday.
However, no one is getting more attention than their single opinion of this situation than Fox Sports’ Doug Gottlieb, who tweeted this derisive comment shortly after Luck’s announcement.
And as expected, people have chewed up Gottlieb for the tweet. While many — including athletes — have criticized Gottlieb for his insensitive tweet, it’s hard to get a bigger name than “Troy Aikman” to respond.
That would be because the three-time Super Bowl winner and Hall-of-Fame quarterback — you know, a guy who actually has a clue as to the physical and mental toll it takes to play the position in professional football — blasted Gottlieb for his comment on Sunday night.
Aikman is right on the money here. One would have to hope Gottlieb was just trying to bait people into biting on his comment for the sake of getting social media to mention his name. That would be a whole heck of a lot more logical and reasonable than if Gottlieb actually believes the comment that he spewed.
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Troy Aikman — Like Andrew Luck — Had Injuries That Ended His Career
Aikman played 12 years in the NFL and a concussion in his last game during the 2000 season is what ended his career. It was the last of 10 concussions that Aikman suffered during his playing career. The number of concussions and persistent back pain from previous back surgery is what ended the Dallas Cowboy quarterback’s career for good.
Luck attributed the constant injuries for taking his love away from the game. The four-time Pro Bowl had a recent ankle injury after going through a debilitating rehab process from a serious shoulder injury that wiped away his entire 2017 season.
Via Mike Wells of ESPN:
“I’ve been stuck in this process,” Luck said, stopping several times to gather his emotions. “I haven’t been able to live the life I want to live. It’s taken the joy out of this game … the only way forward for me is to remove myself from football.
“This is not an easy decision. It’s the hardest decision of my life. But it is the right decision for me.”
Andrew Luck Had Every Right to Retire When He Wanted To
While it is true that Luck’s announcement comes at a terrible time for the Colts — the season opener is literally two weeks away– you can’t blame the guy from making an honest decision after assessing the toll the game of football has taken on him emotionally and physically.
Would you rather have Luck play the game if his heart is not in it? It’s better for him to walk away and make the best decision for his life rather than forcing himself to play a game where his heart is not in it any longer. It would be dumb for him to also risk further injury that would affect his well-being moving forward.
The bottom line is this — Gottlieb made a dumb comment and now he’s paying the price for it.
Luck had every right to make the decision that’s best for his life and he shouldn’t be guilt-tripped for it.
Follow D.J. Siddiqi on Twitter @DJSiddiqi