Anquan Boldin’s retirement Sunday night — less than two weeks after he joined the Buffalo Bills — seemed to come out of nowhere. But it appears the veteran wide receiver had done some serious thinking over the last several days.
Boldin said in his initial statement he plans to focus on “the larger fight for human rights” in retirement. During an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday, the 36-year-old elaborated on that statement, revealing his decision was influenced in part by recent violence in Charlottesville, Va., that stemmed from a white nationalist protest.
“Just seeing things that transpired over the last week or so, I think for me there’s something bigger than football at this point,” Boldin said, via The Washington Post. “… I’m uncomfortable with how divided we are as a country.
“Is it something new to us? No. Is it something that we’re just starting to experience? No. But to see just how divided we are, I’m uncomfortable with that.”
Boldin insisted he was “all-in” when he signed with Buffalo on Aug. 7. The Bills traded top wide receiver Sammy Watkins three days later, but Boldin maintained that neither the trade nor any football-related factor caused him to retire.
“(It was about) what happened in Charlottesville, not what happened in Buffalo,” Boldin said, via ESPN.com.
Boldin added he’s been involved in humanitarian work for years, and that work finally eclipsed his desire to return for a 15th NFL season.
“My passion for the advocacy work that I do outweighs my passion for football at this point,” he said, via the Post. “So, I’m not coming back to play for a contender or to do anything else. I’m done with the game of football.”
Thumbnail photo via Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports Images